Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

A Reinterpretation of Oceanic Culture Through Form, Shape and Color

by Elizabeth Dinn
Major: Studio Art

The island peoples of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia express their culture, rituals, and beliefs through symbols in their decorative arts and functional objects. My interest in the use of symbols stimulated me to research these cultures and art forms. From my research, I have found many symbols and motifs, which have forms that inspire me. Understanding their content, I now incorporate these symbols and ideas into my pieces. With my King Creativity Fund grant, I have been able to create the pieces I wanted without any financial boundaries.

My pieces, ranging from drums and fertility poles to masks, convey my understanding and reinterpretations of Oceanic culture within a contemporary setting. In looking at these art forms from the past, I examine their composition of form and surface for their relevance and aesthetic appeal. I admire the energy and harmonious spirit of the tribes and indigenous people exhibited through color and design and I want to convey these feelings to the viewer.

As a graduating senior, the Kind Creativity Fund made my senior show so much more than I imagined it would be a year ago.