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  • Call for Art – 12th Annual “Seascapes” Online Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • 8th Annual Leaves & Petals Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 8th Annual Leaves & Petals art competition..
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  • Art Show:

    Location: Truro, NS

    Visual Voice Fine Art presents 'SUMMER' June 20- July 16, 2022. Open Monday, Wednesday,..
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  • Art instructors needed in Calgary

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Calling for Calgary based artists. Become our hosting artists to gain exposure, income..
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  • Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition consists of works from internationally..
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  • Old & New: A Solo Exhibit by Robert Crosby

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The paintings of Robert Crosby will be on display in the Joyner Gallery..
    View notice

  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Asian Roots Trio”, a..
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  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Meditation”, a solo show..
    View notice

  • Gallery Ring ARTISTS OF THE MONTH Contest

    Location: , ON

    Gallery Ring announces the ARTISTS OF THE MONTH contest. A RUBY, SAPPHIRE, EMERALD..
    View notice

  • “Summer” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline August 31, 2022

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Summer of the soul, summer thunder, summer wine, summer fling, summer..
    View notice

  • John Lennard - Exhibition opening June 17, 2022

    Location: Haliburton, ON

    John Lennard is known for his vivid landscape paintings. A serene summer sunset,..
    View notice

  • Exhibition: Common Ground

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    In this exhibition, Sara-Jeanne Bourget, Robin Gleason and Mark Johnsen explore the layers..
    View notice

  • New Edition – online art exhibition

    Location: Brooklyn, NY

    Applications are now open for our online exhibition “New Edition”- an investigation into..
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  • Beacon Original Art Call for Submissions

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramic, glass, jewelry and textile artists are encouraged to APPLY..
    View notice

  • Landscape Reflections: Solo Exhibit by Marilyn Cochrane

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The Niagara-on-the-Lake artist, Marilyn Cochrane, celebrates the natural world in a more encompassing..
    View notice

  • Repair Landmark

    Location: Fredericton, NB

    Hello, Looking for a skilled artisan able to repair our farming community's landmark. ..
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  • Call for artworks: Canada-China-Australia exchange

    Location: ,

    Led by Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Sino-Canada Alliance..
    View notice

  • STILL WITH US: Floyd Kuptana at Gallery Arcturus

    Location: Toronto, ON

    STILL WITH US: Celebrating the artist Floyd Kuptana, 1964 -2021. Works in stone, paint,..
    View notice

  • Looking for hosting artists, Calgary based

    Location: Calgary, AB

    If you are a Calgary-based artist who is interested to gain exposure to..
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  • Commonwealth Artists' Prize

    Location: ,

    In Brief We are calling for entries from artists who are: 1) A..
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  • Check Jooble for Art related Jobs

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Looking for a job in the ARTS in Canada? We have thousands of..
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Sepik River - New Voices of the Tambaran

By Robert Amos September 16, 2004

} Sepik River - New Voices of the Tambaran By Robert Amos There has been a tendency among western collectors to resist the evolution of Sepik art this century, to label works by living artists as less valuable than those placed in museums at the turn of the cntury. On the contary the carvings that are produced by the finest Sepik artists of today have a vitality that reflects the traditions of their still-living culture, passed on to them as always, through word of mouth and sculptural form. These are not slavish copies of museum pieces. Elaine Monds Dan Lepsoe has just returned from the Sepik River Basin of Papua New Guinea where he travelled for Victoria’s Alcheringa Gallery (665 Fort Street, 383-8224, www.alcheringa-gallery.com). He accompanied the gallery’s director, Elaine Monds, on a mission to gather some of the carved wooden figures for which the area is justly famous. It was his first trip and I wanted to get his reactions. “They call it The Land of the Unexpected,” Lepsoe began. “Believe me, I didn’t expect even half of what went on.” Travelling in big canoes, they went to visit the villages of this tropical flood plain and to renew aquaintance with the carvers. The Lover Who Turned Into A Crocodile Joseph Kandimbu, 2004, Tambanum Village, Middle Sepik, PNG wood, cowrie shells, human hair, natural pigments, 28" X 9" X 6.5" Monds was making her 9th trip into the low-lying basin of the Sepik River and she knew what to expect. On previous trips she has bought many carvings and sold the work, through her Victoria gallery, to museums and collectors worldwide. Naturally encouraged by this, a number of master Sepik carvers have been working for the past three or four years to make things for her current show. The Sepik River flows hither and yon, in horseshoes and labyrinths, across at 200 kilometre wide flood plain. It’s a very flat landscape. “The sky above and the water below,” Lepsoe recalled. Through the ever-changing waterways of reeds and invasive water-hyacinths, Monds and Lepsoe made their way to villages sealed off from time. Without roads, and in the dry season beyond the reach of rivers, these communities have been able to maintain an enormous diversity of language and cosmology. These are hunter-gatherers. Lepsoe showed me a snapshot of the arrival of their canoe at a village in the Sepik basin. The entire village had come to the water’s edge to see them. Around the houses evidence of a recent flood was abundant. “The people on the shore seemed to me a bit blurred, a bit out of focus,” Lepsoe recalled. What with Elaine’s feverishness, the immense heat and humidity, and a long day’s travel on the river, blurred vision might have been expected. “But when we got closer,” Lepsoe continued, “ I could see they were all swatting and scratching - bugs!”. Monds wore her full mosquito suit while Lepsoe had decided to be a stoic. “Every one was vying for your attention, but in the whole village we only had come to see one or two carvers. We sent letters in advance, but it was very difficult to get a letter through, and many didn’t arrive. In addition to the fever and the bugs, we were trying to deal with esthetic issues, and I was doing photography and video. This was the first time we were able to record the artists speaking about their own pieces.” I saw edenic photographs of Sepik villages, which centre on a giant wooden haus Tambaran, a sort of spirit house. Elaine Monds first came to the Sepik when ethnographic artifacts were the goal. Later, her British Columbia experience working with the finest northwest carvers showed her that traditions do evolve into contemporary expressions. She became a pioneer in the encouragement of art in the middle Sepik basin. For her previous show, in 1996, Monds published a gorgeous full colour catalogue with biographies and photos of the artists, their homes and their haus Tambaran. Copies of that book are treasured in the region, and have helped foster an awareness that these carvers are being taken seriously around the world. Rather than the totemic figures and gods of iconography, the current show presents images from daily life in Papua New Guinea. A life-sized man is carved standing with his dog. A grey kitten with white stripes, or a wallaby - these are new subjects for these carvers. Working from a base at Korogo Village deep in the interior, Monds and Leptoe spent 9 days gathering their purchases. Their 50 foot canoe turned out to be perfect for transporting art and getting to the far-flung settlements. They travelled in the wet season - worst time for mosquitoes, but the easiest time to reach villages in the labyrinth of rivers. In the end they strapped the carvings upright in the back of a brand new Land Cruiser and set out for Wewak on the coast. All the carvings arrived in Canada safely. You can have a look at them at www.alcheringa-galleries.com or in person at 665 Fort Street, Victoria B.C. (until September 30, 2004). ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2004Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B.C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com

Notice Board

SUBMIT View

Current notices

There are no notices at this time.

Today's notices

  • Call for Art – 12th Annual “Seascapes” Online Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
    View notice

  • 8th Annual Leaves & Petals Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 8th Annual Leaves & Petals art competition..
    View notice

  • Art Show:

    Location: Truro, NS

    Visual Voice Fine Art presents 'SUMMER' June 20- July 16, 2022. Open Monday, Wednesday,..
    View notice

  • Art instructors needed in Calgary

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Calling for Calgary based artists. Become our hosting artists to gain exposure, income..
    View notice

  • Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition consists of works from internationally..
    View notice

  • Old & New: A Solo Exhibit by Robert Crosby

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The paintings of Robert Crosby will be on display in the Joyner Gallery..
    View notice

  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Asian Roots Trio”, a..
    View notice

  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Meditation”, a solo show..
    View notice

  • Gallery Ring ARTISTS OF THE MONTH Contest

    Location: , ON

    Gallery Ring announces the ARTISTS OF THE MONTH contest. A RUBY, SAPPHIRE, EMERALD..
    View notice

  • “Summer” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline August 31, 2022

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Summer of the soul, summer thunder, summer wine, summer fling, summer..
    View notice

  • John Lennard - Exhibition opening June 17, 2022

    Location: Haliburton, ON

    John Lennard is known for his vivid landscape paintings. A serene summer sunset,..
    View notice

  • Exhibition: Common Ground

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    In this exhibition, Sara-Jeanne Bourget, Robin Gleason and Mark Johnsen explore the layers..
    View notice

  • New Edition – online art exhibition

    Location: Brooklyn, NY

    Applications are now open for our online exhibition “New Edition”- an investigation into..
    View notice

  • Beacon Original Art Call for Submissions

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramic, glass, jewelry and textile artists are encouraged to APPLY..
    View notice

  • Landscape Reflections: Solo Exhibit by Marilyn Cochrane

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The Niagara-on-the-Lake artist, Marilyn Cochrane, celebrates the natural world in a more encompassing..
    View notice

  • Repair Landmark

    Location: Fredericton, NB

    Hello, Looking for a skilled artisan able to repair our farming community's landmark. ..
    View notice

  • Call for artworks: Canada-China-Australia exchange

    Location: ,

    Led by Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Sino-Canada Alliance..
    View notice

  • STILL WITH US: Floyd Kuptana at Gallery Arcturus

    Location: Toronto, ON

    STILL WITH US: Celebrating the artist Floyd Kuptana, 1964 -2021. Works in stone, paint,..
    View notice

  • Looking for hosting artists, Calgary based

    Location: Calgary, AB

    If you are a Calgary-based artist who is interested to gain exposure to..
    View notice

  • Commonwealth Artists' Prize

    Location: ,

    In Brief We are calling for entries from artists who are: 1) A..
    View notice

  • Check Jooble for Art related Jobs

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Looking for a job in the ARTS in Canada? We have thousands of..
    View notice

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