Island and Water Lily

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 February, 2009, 12:00am

Island and Water Lily

Wayne Bregulla

Culture Club

Wayne Bregulla presents a traveller's exhibition featuring a concise selection of photos and pinned tropical-patterned cloth straight from his suitcase. Wall paintings of water lilies hang throughout the gallery. The rough print quality of the photographs is softened by the message in this restrained homage to the islands where Bregulla lives (Hawaii) and has visited.

The islands and inhabitants of the Pacific Ocean have a gentle laid-back air, but behind this obvious beauty there is an intensity and passion reflecting mixed notions of both warrior and artiste.

Bregulla displays a collage-like selection of photographs (right), individually framed but hung close together, that captures this Pacific duality. Superficially, he offers portraits of female beauty and raw male strength, but he also layers the exhibition with a range of other images that put the people in a cultural context for those unfamiliar with the Pacific.

A group of canoes in formation reminds us of battles fought and distant island communities linked by the ocean and similar language patterns.

Imported Christianity is omnipresent, hanging over all festivities and celebrations alongside the Pacific lei, worn with nonchalant good humour.

And when the sun sets, island beaches are beset by sandflies and their rapacious bites. Only a strong wind or an inland freshwater pond offers relief, and Bregulla's scattered water-lily wall paintings depict the quiet, tempting solitude and passion of the Pacific.