An Exhibition of Recent Works by North Queensland Indigenous Printmakers
A Naidoc Week 2015 Event
Glen Mackie Mapping Memories vinylcut relief prints
Daniel O'Shane Tracking Visions vinyl relief prints
Paul Bong Reclaiming Culture hand coloured etchings
Exhibition Opening Saturday, 4 July 2015 at 2pm
Gallery talk by Master Printmaker Theo Tremblay, Editions Tremblay - No Fixed Press, Cairns
with Guest Artist Zenadh Kes printmaker Daniel O'Shane.
Exhibition continues until September 7, 2015
Presented by Bungendore Wood Works Gallery in association with Canopy Arts Centre, Cairns and Editions Tremblay–No Fixed Press
Glen Mackie’s (Kei Kalak) bold ‘minar’, or infill-design style, incorporates family totemic designs and his own invented geometric repeating water pattern. He retells the myths and legendary stories he inherited from older family members. As Yam Island’s only practicing artist he feels he has a responsibility to keep alive the sacred stories of the four brothers who travelled from the north before memory and settled Zenadh Kes, more commonly known as the Central and Eastern Torres Strait Islands. These four brothers were: Malu, who became god of Mer Island, Sigai, brother of Maiu, teacher of war, mamoose of Yam Islan; Kulka, third brother, teacher of hunting, mamoose of Ourete Island (Skull Island) and younger brother Siue, teacher of dance, mamoose of York Island. Art and law are combined heroically in what can only be described as an 'epic' style. The figures are woven into rhythmic patterns (minaral).
Daniel is a relative newcomer to the art scene. He has a strong sense of design and confidence in his patterning drawn from his Torres Strait Island and Aboriginal heritage. The unique fusion of both cultures is exciting and representative of a growing movement in Far North Queensland, Australia. He was educated at St Augustine College, Cairns.
In 2009 he enrolled in the Certificate III Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts, Cairns TAFE Campus. He has received Certificates l and II in construction and has worked as a labourer, a maintenance manager and has a range of retail skills, which he’s putting to good use in his day job.
His aim is to establish himself as an artist and he is well on his way, with his work highly commended at the prestigious 2014 Telstra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (purchased by them for their collection) and receiving a special commendation at the 2014 Fremantle Print Award. He has recently been shortlisted for the 2015 Telstra ATSI Art Aware.
Paul Bong (Bindur Bullin)
My given tribal name is Bindur Bullin, after a great warrior. I am a descendant of the Yidinji tribe who occupied the fertile rainforest lands from Cairns in the north to Babinda in the south and west into the Atherton Tablelands as far as Kairi.
My ancestral history is rooted in this region. My great-grandparents were both tribal elders when all the lands were Yidinji. My father, George, also knew the traditional ways of living. He spoke the Yidinji language, though he wasn’t allowed to speak it when he went to school. He was forced to reject the traditional ways and to assimilate to the white society. This broke the continuity of our culture, language and heritage that has been passed down through many generations.
It has been up to me to research my cultural background and to rediscover my heritage. My grandmother, who spoke Yidinji, taught me stories and legends about the rainforest – its bush food, animals, young warriors and special places such as Babinda Boulders and the Gordonvale Pyramid. These stories are the inspiration to a lot of my work.
I incorporate traditional designs with modern techniques in my art, and each design has a spiritual meaning. Traditionally very design had a different meaning associated with totems or inspired by legends.