Styles & Periods

Styles & Periods

Oceanic Art

Oceania encompasses thousands of islands, which are usually divided into four cultural areas: Micronesia, Polynesia, Australia, and Melanesia. Polynesia was the last area of the world to be settled; as such, those who inhabited the area brought complex societal constructs with them.  For this reason, Polynesian art tends to be more cohesive and autocratic than other Oceanic art. Even so, the vast distances separating islands yield very different styles, from the exuberance of Hawaiian sculpture to the restraint of Cook Island figures. Polynesians excelled at woodcarving, depicting fierce gods with tremendous energy and power, and they created elaborate tattoos and decorative bark cloth. In the arts of New Zealand, the two main Polynesian artistic tendencies, one toward bold figural sculptures and the other toward the repetition of abstract forms, come together, as in the intricate, fluid decorations on Maori meeting houses. In Melanesia, a series of multiple migrations is echoed in the profusion of overlapping artistic styles; the emphasis is on bold colors and dramatic shapes. Large ancestral poles were erected as power images to assist in battle and for fertility. In Australia, a primary function of Aboriginal art is to facilitate contact with a mythological past era, called "Dreamtime". Bark paintings depict underworld creatures and symbolic motifs, and are used ceremonially to recreate cosmogonic myths. In New Zealand¹s Maori culture, woodcarving continues to be a vibrant practice with an important role in ensuring cultural continuity.


Feeling inspired? Try out these fine products…

From $25.69

Watercolor Palette

by John Pike

The perfect gift for the professional
Top Rated

From $22.39

Watercolor 365

by North Light

Daily tips, tricks and techniques.

Up to 30% Off

Heavy Drawing Pads

by Koh-I-Noor

Durable surface for re-working
New Arrival

Up to 43% Off

Chimayo Easels

by Best

Strength and beauty

Up to 35% Off

At Least 39% Off

Latest Product Reviews
product performed as expected. Great price and fast shipment and delivery.
- Dan C. in Port St. Lucie Fl
I am very satisfied with this product.
- Pauline Staub in Foley, Al. 36535
Great casting resin and easy to use. I use a pressure pot for crystal clear casts.
- Henry in PA
Free Download for Kids

Download free coloring book pages Download FREE coloring
book pages to color at
home or school.

View Pages »