Barry Dabb - New Zealand Artist.

Postcards From Vila

As with the Rarotongan and Samoan garden paintings the works in the series Postcards from Vila are produced from the artist's photographic records. Here the original photographs are cropped and combined to create double or multiple images in the manner of postcards, advertising billboards and tourist booklets.

The works appear to be a realistic record of place and topography but are intended to function as a commentary on the contrasts and reality of life in Vanuatu. They examine the paradoxes inherent in much of the Pacific where economies rely on tourism (presented in idyllic settings) but where poverty, political corruption and the influences of foreign finances and religion are common. Postcard from Vila IV for example, contains a tourist orientated village performance (a staged but actual event) on the banks of a lush river and in the inset a church funded school house in a nearby village.

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