Tuesday, March 20, 2012

PNG art gallery opens despite heavy downpour

An art gallery focusing on Papua New Guinea art, which will open up a new market for PNG arts and crafts, was opened in Brisbane last Saturday.
Beyond Pacific Art is expected to open up a new market for PNG arts and crafts, according to owner-operator Joycelin Leahy.   
Despite the torrential downpour in Brisbane on Saturday afternoon, 180 people turned up for the official opening of the Beyond Pacific Art Gallery. 
Art entrepreneur Joycelin Leahy talking to Stephen Kaiwe Buntrock – a famous painter and ex art teacher in PNG.He taught well-known artists such as Daniel Waswas, Laben Sakale and others at art school.

It was opened by director general of Office of Tourism Arts and Culture, Mari Ellingson, who travelled to Brisbane for the opening.   
The Beyond Pacific Art Gallery caters for both contemporary and traditional artworks and is built in an extended space of a 50-year old property which sits on 2.5 acres of bush land in the Western Suburbs of Brisbane.
It is 25 minutes drive from city centre.
The opening was attended by dignitaries, artists, art lovers and ex PNG residents living in Queensland.
Apart from the gallery function, Leahy will also hold art workshops Creative Learning Art Space (CLAS), another business arm of the gallery, and run artist-in-residency programmes.  
“I am deeply honoured to witness an admirable icon and a Papua New Guinean who has dedicated her lifetime to promoting PNG’s unique culture to the world with other Pacific cultures,” Ellingson said.
“This gallery represents a true PNG spirit in a tough market.
“It is an also a special opportunity to promote our artists and crafts people throughout Australia and beyond.
“Ms Leahy is a Papua New Guinean icon and the people of PNG are proud that against all the challenges of setting up in a foreign country to promote her own heritage, Ms Leahy has managed to build her gallery with the help of friends and family in a true Melanesian spirit.”
Ellingson said Leahy had been recognised internationally in the arts, culture and heritage and her hard-work and her drive to open a gallery showed her dedication to her work in preserving and sustaining PNG’s rich culture.
“We want our own people to show and promote our art, and our intangible heritage and we need more opportunities with more of our own people who have passion for our culture,” she said.


  1. Anonymous11:26 AM

    Thank you Malum, cous that is awesome! We will do our best to promote our country!

  2. Anonymous11:52 AM

    I was lucky enough to attend the opening and what has been achieved is a credit to Jouycelin and her yeam of supporters. Congratulations - wishing you much success for the future.



  3. Anonymous8:13 AM

    This is a fabulous venture good luck Vanya Taule'alo form The Vanya Taule'alo Gallery in samoa

  4. Anonymous9:44 AM

    Well done Ms Leahy and her team, you have done well to promote and encourage PNG Artists and their Art abroad.
    I wonder if each Province in PNG has an Art Gallery and sure enough the impact these Galleries would have on the Province and the Country as a whole? 20 Provinces- Think about it!