Australia, Oceania and the art of the peoples of the sea


Between 24 March and 30 September 2016, Aboriginal and Oceanian art was honoured at the Museum in TABA NABA, a major exhibition on the theme of the ocean and water.

The project was structured around three complementary sections, developed with three partners recognised for their work in this very particular form of art.


The first instalment was devoted entirely to creating and presenting six large-scale installations created by 50 major Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists who, through their works, are raising a cry of alarm against the pollution of the oceans. Rather than taking a morbid look at these environmental issues, the artists chose to approach them with humour and subtlety. This first chapter was designed to unfold like a fairy tale. The works on a massive scale that will be displayed inside and outside the museum will give visitors the impression that they have been transported to the poetic world of Alice in Wonderland.

Living Waters

“Living Waters” presents a selection of modern Aboriginal paintings taken from the Sordello & Missana Collection alongside works from Australian artists invited to contribute that illustrate the intercultural themes of the exhibition and their relationship with water. In addition to an installation realised by a collective of artists, which is the central point of the exhibition, videos and photographs from famous young native artists raise questions of the sacred and the profane and open a window towards new contemporary artistic practices.
Paintings from Aboriginal artists from the private collection of HRH Prince Albert II of Monaco are also being displayed.


Playing the visions of Oceania islanders and Australian Aborigines off against each other and highlighting their similarities without hiding their differences is the aim of this voyage through works from times past and modern works.. Didiez Zanette focuses on the cultural relations maintained by the Pacific peoples with the sea, by displaying traditional navigational items, artifacts from the Salomon Islands, a series of New Guinean portraits and an extensive collection of Baining marine animal images.

Exhibition spaces


defending the ocean as a central theme of the art of the Aborigines and Torrest Strait Islanders”, curated by Stéphane Jacob, assisted by Suzanne O’Connell


“Living Waters”

a project from the Sordello Missana Collection, curated by Dr Erica Izett, assisted by Dr Georges Petitjean and Donna Carstens



Islanders past masters in navigation and artistic expression”, curated by Didier Zanette

See also


The Odyssey of Sea Turtles

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