'Gelam Nguzu Kazi - Dugong, My Son'
The Australian Consulate-General
and SPC are co-hosting the 'Gelam Nguzu Kazi' exhibition at SPC headquarters
from 19 February to 16 March.
Gelam Nguzu Kazi – Dugong My Son is the first
exhibition of limited edition linocuts by the
artists of the Mualgau Minaral Artist Collective
from Mua Island in the Torres Strait. The
exhibition was first developed by the Australian
Art Print Network and the Kubin Community
Council and was toured nationally in Australia
from 2001 to 2003.
The Torres Strait Islands are located
between Australia’s Cape York Peninsula
and Papua New Guinea. The region was
named after Spanish navigator Luis Baes
de Torres, who was the first known
European to explore the area when he
sailed there in 1606. The Torres Strait
Islands cover an area of 35, 000 square
kilometres. There are over 100 islands,
however, only seventeen are inhabited.
In 2000, the Elders of Mau Island agreed
to establish a print studio in Kubin
Village, The Mualgau Minaral Artist
Collective, so that four young
printmakers, Dennis Nona, Billy Missi,
David Bosun and Victor Motlop, could
record the Islands’ special creation
stories. These artists utilised their
traditional carving skills to create an
art movement based on the fine incising
of traditional patterning into linoleum
and printing on to archival paper.
Linocut Kaidaral, 2000
450x260 mm, Edition of 75
Nguzu Kazi- Gelam My Son
Linocut Kaidaral, 2001
460x610 mm, Edition of 85
Gelam My Son is the name
the Elders gave to this special
exhibition, which marked the first time
that traditional Mua Island stories were
recorded in a visual medium, since the
loss of their material culture to
missionaries and collectors before 1900.
Gelam, the dugong, is the primary totem
for the people of Mua. The name of the
exhibition is taken from the legend of
Gelam and his mother, Usar.
These artworks were recently purchased
by Artbank, the Australian Government’s
art rental program. The touring
exhibition was prepared in partnership
with the Australian Art Print Network,
the Kubin Community Council and Artbank.
Gelam Nguzu Kazi – Dugong My Son
is being toured by the Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade, through its Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Program, to increase
international recognition of the Torres Strait
Islands, their people and culture, and to
promote the work of Torres Strait Islander
This exhibition can be ciewed on line @