Review Round Up: Oceania, Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts brings together some of the diverse art of the region of Oceania to help mark the 250th anniversary since Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific. Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews…

Oceania_Tene Waitere, Ta Moko panel, 1896-99

Tene Waitere
Ta Moko panel, 1896–99
Carved panel. Wood, shell and paint, 78 x 56 cm
Courtesy of National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

The Telegraph: ***** “Five years in the making, Oceania is, then, a blast of a show, attesting to the versatility and ingenuity of the human imagination.”

Evening Standard: ***** “This is an exhibition that brings together an extraordinary collection of bits and pieces from museum basements and collections and turns them into a riveting whole so a new generation can encounter Oceania. A feat.”

Culture Whisper: ***** “Everything on display in Oceania strikes an impact. In part because it’s all so unfamiliar, and in part because it’s all so exquisitely beautiful.”

The Times: “Yet this show, a feat of diplomacy, procurement and preservation, which needed an official dawn blessing of its exhibits before it could open, will take you to a big, beautiful place (the Pacific amounts to a third of the world). It certainly makes you reconsider your bearings.”

Time Out: **** “Oceania really is vast, and this show just skims the surface, but it really makes you want to dive in.” 

The Guardian: ***** ” this dazzling exhibition is like having the ocean roll under your canoe.”

Londonist:  *** “The Royal Academy should be commended for bringing together such excellent works from a part of the world that many Londoners know little about. It’s just a shame that we leave the show having learned little, when we wanted to learn a lot about Oceania.”

Oceania is on display at the Royal Academy of Arts until the 10th December. For more information visit:


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