Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Oceanic Creative Practice: Re-evaluating indigenous spatial strategies as relevant to twenty-first century creative exploration and practice

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posted on 2023-03-14, 02:53 authored by Meadows, Jodi Marie

“Oceania is vast, Oceania is expanding, Oceania is hospitable and generous, Oceania is humanity rising from the depths of brine and regions of fire deeper still, Oceania is us.”¹  ­‐ Epeli Hau’ofa  This research investigates how indigenous visual spatial strategies can be used to assist in the definition of a framework that helps characterise Oceanic perspectives and methods of creative practice. Cultural diversity in the New Zealand context holds important potential for explaining expressions of use and continuing the development of Oceanic creative practice. I will assert that the indigenous spatial strategy known as vā (space) holds important potential to help understand the significance of collective relationships within the Oceanic creative community. Vā is an indigenous spatial strategy that captures the process of engaging with and nurturing connections that, I argue, should be at the forefront of the definition for Oceanic creative practice. By comparing established Eurocentric understandings of creative disciplines and processes to indigenous understandings and methodologies, this research will posit indigenous spatial strategies as not only relevant but pivotal to 21st-century creative exploration and practice. This research will contribute to the outlining of a framework that helps to define the authentic values held within Oceanic creative practice.  ¹ Epeli Hau'ofa, "Our Sea of Islands," The Contemporary Pacific 6, no. 1 (1994): 160.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Culture & Context

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Design Innovation

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Design


O'Sullivan, Nan; Henderson, April