Fijian double canoe 8-2015
Steven Hooper, Sainsbury Research Unit, University of East Anglia
Research funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council into Fijian art resulted in an exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre on the Norwich Research Park (Fiji: Art and Life in the Pacific, 11 March - 7 August 2016) and the commissioning of a double-hulled sailing canoe which was an exhibition highlight. Combining hereditary skills with examination of old drawings and Fiji Museum artefacts, specialist canoe builders created an 8m version of the gigantic 35m canoes of the 19th century. Made entirely from local timber and coir cordage, the canoe is celebrated in Fiji as a heritage project. The construction process was fully documented and successful sea trials conducted in August 2015, prior to shipping to the UK.