Carved wooden heads, Solomon Islands

Contributed by Anna Craven

Carved wooden heads, Solomon Islands

This carved wooden figure of multiple heads is by Kuai Maueha, Polynesian artist from the tiny raised coral atoll of Bellona in Solomon Islands, who died in 1981. A very religious person he was inspired by his dreams and by traditional mythical stories, forming the subject according to the shape of the wood. He died from an accident before he attained the national and international recognition he deserved, but with friends I organised in 1983 a retrospective exhibition of all the pieces we could gather together, which toured Vanuatu, Fiji and Hawai'i. Encouraged by individuals of the University of the South Pacific where he was briefly artist in residence, Kuai tried other media (pencil, copper sheets), but he preferred and excelled in the three dimensions provided by local timber. His creations and style remain unique in the emergence of 'modern' Pacific island art.

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Bellona, Solomon Islands




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