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Moorea Art Galleries
Moorea’s visitors have always been inspired by the crystal blue lagoon in front of the lush green mountain backdrop, as well as the peaceful pace of life of the locals. As a result, it’s no surprise that many artists and thinkers have settled on Moorea over the years, helping to form the island’s image to this day.
Aside from tattoo artists’ studios, there are carvers’, sculptors’, painters’, and jewelers’ studios strewn over the island. Often, workrooms double as miniature art galleries, where artists’ works are shown and sold. We’d like to recommend three galleries that are well worth your time.
An authentic piece of art makes always a great souvenir, to bring back home.
1. Aad van der Heyde Gallery
The gallery of Dutchman Aad van der Heyde, who has lived and worked on Moorea for almost 30 years, is located at the entrance to Cooks Bay (coastal road PK 7 at Paopao). His flower-filled garden also serves as an exhibition place for his paintings. Wooden sculptures in the style of the Marquesas, wood sculptures, shell and beaded jewelry, traditional tapa clothes, and other South Seas souvenirs.
Van der Heyde Gallery
PK 7, Baie de Cook Cook’s Bay
Phone: +689 40 561 422
2. A.P.I. Gallery
Gallery A.P.I., located on the seaside road at PK 26 near Haapiti, features local artists from Moorea and the nearby islands. Paintings (scenes from normal Polynesian life) and primitive Polynesian wood sculptures are the focal points of this exhibition.
Patrice Brendel, the proprietor, has amassed an inventory of 18th, 19th, and 20th-century Pacific Island art that includes everything from an expensive Gauguin block print to a set of signed lithographs by Francois Ravello, the island’s most well-known living artist. He frequently paints informal island settings in a thick-lined technique that resembles cloisonne enamel work or stained glass.
3. Green Lagoon Moorea Art Gallery
The Green Lagoon Moorea Art Gallery is located on the east side of Cooks Bay near Maharepa at PK 3.8. This gallery focuses on the work of two artists: Hans-Jörg Stubler of Germany and Nataly Jolibois of France. If you’re looking for colorful Polynesian impressions in the style of Gauguin, check out Jolibois’ collection, which includes over 160 paintings and was founded in 1966.
Stubler, on the other hand, primarily uses wood and woodcuts in his work, he has about 300+ art items on display. Mahogany, rosewood, purau, pistachio, teak, or coconut are among the woods used, which range in color from light to dark.
The birds, fish, and shellfish, poised on their stands and skillfully articulated, convey a sense of luxury and tranquility. Regardless, they’re all made from reclaimed materials like wood shavings, fish bones, teeth, backbones, stones, and fiber. This amazing alchemy’s author, craftsman, and sculptor is Hans-Jörg Stübler.
Nothing seems to have predestined this German-born chemist to become a sculptor, except possibly his enthusiasm for bringing matter of all kinds to life. First and foremost, he satisfies his creative urge by refurbishing historic properties throughout Europe. Then he quickly salvages wood and other materials for furniture and picture frames, particularly for his companion Nataly Jolibois’ paintings.
The proximity to Moorea’s lagoon arouses other desires in Hans-Jörg Stübler, motivating him to create one-of-a-kind sculptures that are true hymns to nature. Each vein, groove, and knot of these lost bits of wood is magnified until it becomes the essence of the essence; each work is then polished to preserve it as a living item – if varnished, it would become rigid and die.
Green Lagoon Moorea Art Gallery
Hans-Jörg Stubler & Nataly Jolibois
Phone: +689 87 77 99 21