The Easel

Oceania, Royal Academy, review: an astonishing blast of a show

Oceania, according to a London show, is a single civilization connected by water. Clear aesthetic similarities between artworks of different island groups proves the point. But there are attendant issues – the impact of Europeans, the unacknowledged debt that our culture owes this art. As Faulkner observed, the past is never dead, it’s not even past.