Engaging the Local with the Global: Mythology, Modernisation and Mysticism

By:
Purago Marabe
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This presentation highlights how traditional cultural expressions and beliefs are utilised to engage with global audiences, allowing the viewer to experience the possibility of transformation through other ways of seeing the world. In portraying aspects of the PNG tribal way of life the audience realise other possibilities, and potentialities than the normalcy of everyday life provided by capitalism, and globilisation. Thus the process of engaging with traditional art creations allows a contemplative process into other ways of knowing and being.

Through portraying aspects of the beliefs and practices of a PNG Highlands culture, the simplicity of the everyday horticultural lifestyle is entwined with the mystical, allowing a cultural journey into the contemporary world of my people.

Utilising visual images of my artwork, this presentation also highlights how western artists have influenced my artistic imagination allowing for transference in creation, thus modernising traditional PNG art.


Keywords: Papua New Guinea, Traditional, Indigenous
Stream: Art in Communities, Meaning and Representation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Purago Marabe

Independent Artist, --
Papua New Guinea

Exhibitor at the PNG Independence celebrations in Lae and Port Moresby in 2002 and 2003. From 1995-2003, was part of the community of artists at the Port Moresby Arts Centre. Poetry is published in Lost in the Jungleways, (1994, Watson Ed), named for one of his poems. This anthology of young PNG writers is being used as curriculum material taught throughout PNG. Previous to this, my community involvement includes developing adult literacy programs with the YWCA Goroka from 1985-1987.

My recent community involvement has included assisting my natal community to develop the Pindogori Cooperative, a collective of organic coffee growers to market their coffee and other organic goods and traditional artefacts on the world market. As an avid tree planter, promoter of sustainable development and collector of seeds, stories and songs, my current art project is reforesting my land with a jungle of trees.

Ref: A06P0544