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Art wall - Community Arts Display - WANTOK Melanesian Display
Redland Performing Arts Centre

Make sure you leave time to admire all of the beautiful Melanesian pieces on display in the WANTOK Melanesian exhibition. 

Melanesia has many outstanding fine artists and for this exhibition we bring you two of its finest - Ms Joycelin Leahy and Dr Powesiu Lawes.

Both artists' work reflect the desire to preserve Melanesian traditions and cultures, along with the protection of the natural environments out of which these traditions have come.  All Joycelin Leahy's paintings are for sale unless otherwise stated. Prints are also available for purchase at the front desk.

The display is part of the WANTOK Musik: Melanesian Showcase and also includes pieces from the Redland Art Gallery collection.

The display will be in the Concert Hall on Level 1 and 2 throughout September.

You can also enjoy an amazing night of Melanesian music and culture at the WANTOK Musik: Melanesian Showcase at RPAC on Sunday 17 September, on the weekend of PNG's Independence.
Admission is free to the art display.
Exhibition Location:
RPAC Concert Hall Foyer - Level 1 & 2

Exhibition Duration:
11 August until
26 August




 art wall displays coming soon are as follows:
​WANTOK Melanesian Display ​Monday 4 September - Saturday 30 September
Lisa MacDonald Display ​Monday 6 November - Saturday 2 December

Please note: the dates for the above artwall displays may vary slightly to the dates provided above. The final dates will be provided closer to each actual exhibition. 


Redland Performing Arts Centre is proud to provide a Community Arts Display Space (art wall) to celebrate arts within the Redlands Community.


The Community Arts Display Space at RPAC was the first of its kind for the Redlands and celebrates arts within the community by offering a free, self facilitated display space for local artists, schools and community groups to exhibit artwork of their choice.

The art wall is located on the second level of the RPAC Concert Hall foyer and is available for groups to display artworks for blocks of one month.  

Click here to download the information kit [pdf 950 kb] or contact the Creative Arts Unit Community Cultural Development Officer on 3383 2130 or 0409 653 125 or via email 

Performance Times:
You can view this exhibition:
Mon to Fri 10am to 4pm; Sat 10am to 1pm; and
during scheduled performances in the Concert Hall
First and second level of the RPAC Concert Hall foyer
See details above
The Community Arts Display Space at RPAC is free to view during scheduled performances in the Concert Hall.
Suit Children:
Booking Information:
No booking required to view the art wall display

No tickets required



Joycelin Leahy lives in Brisbane, Australia, and works across Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. She is a mostly self-taught artist who loves watercolour and has developed her own natural pigments from plants to paint with. Her painting style is influenced by her rich, colourful, and unique Papua New Guinea heritage.

While she can draw and paint with other mediums, the natural pigments link her to her heritage and inspire her to continue to practice using some of these natural dyes before they disappear from her culture. Her love of this art-process stemmed from her childhood years in Lae, Papua New Guinea. As a child, she spent days making paint from vines, leaves and fruits to paint grass skirts, bilums, tapa and headdresses with her grandmother, and family members.
Joycelin says: “I am part of a tribe. I was raised by my mother and grandmother. Like many indigenous people that continue to struggle to hold on to their heritage, I feel that it is my responsibility to work hard to protect, preserve and sustain what belongs to my people. My art and my blog ( is one way of promoting and protecting my heritage.”
“When I was growing up, we learnt from our elders. The connection we had with land, animals, spirits and our ancestors remains a powerful force within me. When I paint, the magic is in letting go, observing, being in and feeling one with nature. Often I finish an artwork and I don’t remember where it came from.”
Joycelin holds a Masters in Museum Studies from University of Queensland and a Diploma in Journalism from University of Papua New Guinea. She began practicing art seriously between 2016 and the beginning of 2017 after her mother Freda Kauc encouraged her.
Before becoming an artist full-time, she painted and drew for fun and spent her artistic and writing ability to help promote the work of other Melanesian and Pacific Island artists and communities for almost 30 years. She is known for her work in climate change and intangible cultures, Pacific Storms Contemporary Art Exhibition and the Melanesian Wantok 2017 Showcase in Australia.
Born in 1957 in Loniu Village, on Los Negros Island, in Papua New Guinea’s Manus Province, Dr Powesiu Lawes’ art began as drawings in the sand, of fishermen on the reef at dawn and dusk.
A gifted school student, he went on from Primary School, to High School in Manus Province, in the time of the Australian colonial administration, then on to the elite Sogeri Senior High School outside Port Moresby in the early 1970s. He was recognised at each school he attended as a talented artist, actor, sportsman and gifted student whose abilities would enable him to do anything he wanted in the soon-to-be independent Papua New Guinea. So, it was expected that he would be trained as one of Papua New Guinea’s first airline pilots.
But he rejected this path and started in medical school where he produced his first book of art - Wati Kui: “I always wanted to help people, so medical school was a natural choice and my art and the first book - Wati Kui - was one way to pay my way through my medical training”.
After graduating from medical school, Powesiu Lawes spent some years as senior medical officer in the PNG Navy, after which he went into private medical practice in Port Moresby’s Waigani. He maintained his interest in art in the meantime, along with his coaching of rugby union, and frequent returns to his beloved Loniu Village, the place of his birth.
He retired back to Loniu Village in Manus Province in 2009 and was soon elected the leader - Councillor - of Loniu, Los Negros’ largest village; with its own distinct language and cultural practices, it is a village out of which many of Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court judges, academics, diplomats, doctors, teachers, scientists and lawyers have come.
Powesiu Lawes’ art is one central strategy in keeping Loniu’s cultural practices alive, along with his aim of establishing a Loniu Culture House in the village in which to teach Loniu’s young people their unique practices and outlook: “Without a good grounding in the tradition of their birth” says Powesiu Lawes “many of them will lose their way once they leave the village for the bright lights and temptations of Lae, Port Moresby and beyond. I never did, because of this very grounding I had”.
As to his art, he says, “I have tried many different art mediums - brushes, multi-coloured spray painting for murals, multi-coloured ink; but the result that black ink on white paper gives, is the medium that gives me the greatest satisfaction”.
He has completed a second book - Wati Kui 2 - for which most of the drawings in this exhibition have been produced.
He is already working on his third book, the title of which will translate roughly as “Knowledge”.
“So” as he says, “for lovers of silhouettes against the sun - its setting around dusk or its rising around dawn - stand-by …….. there is more to come”.