Imagining islands

In 1887 the French post-impressionst artist Paul Gauguin visited the Caribbean island of Martinique, a trip which would later lead him to leave Europe altogether for Tahiti, the place that became the backdrop for some of his most famous works. Gauguin was moved to pursue a haven far away from what he and many of his contemporaries regarded as the trivial trappings of Western civilisation. This idea was recently explored in the exhibition Imagining Islands: Artists and Escape, organised by MA students at London's Courtauld Institute in response to a concurrent display of Gauguin works collected by its founder during the 1920s. While the student's exhibition has now finished, much of its contents, as well as several digital extras, can be explored at the Courtauld Institute website. In addition to a picture gallery are podcasts on how the students brought the show together and sections on the work of Charles Avery, a Scottish artist who has been exploring the mythical and psychological resonance of islands and islandness in the contemporary age through an ongoing series titled The Islanders.

Click on the image below to visit the site.