Topic: The Cult of the South Pacific – from Cook to Gaugain
Guest Speaker: Leslie Primo
Photographer: Martin Connelly
Reporter: James Hodgkinson
Cook paid three visits to the island bringing ever more artists and scientists. However in 1779 he had a scuffle with islanders and was killed.
Over a century later in 1891 Paul Gauguin left his wife in England and arrived in Tahiti. However he was disappointed as he found that “Paradise” no longer existed. The islanders had converted to Christianity and now wore clothes. Native huts had been replaced by more solid structures. He painted the local people until 1903 when he died. The dream of Paradise was indeed over.