Thursday, July 13, 2006

Torres Strait Islands myths and legends for your viewing pleasure

Works by the Torres Strait Islander and printmaker, Dennis Nona, are on display at the
Rebecca Hossack Gallery on Windmill Street (between Charlotte Street and Tottenham Court Road) until Saturday 2 September 2006 ... and are well worth stopping by to have a look at.

The exhibition, Sesserae: the works of Dennis Nona, features 70 pieces from 1991 to 2005, which are all based upon the myths and legends of the Torres Straight Islands. The Torres Strait Islands are a group of more than 270 small islands lying in the narrow waterway between Australia's Cape York Peninsula and the island of New Guinea. These islands are part of Queensland, a constituent State of the Commonwealth of Australia. However the people are Melanasian, ethnically and culturally more akin to their neighbors in Papua New Guinea than to the Aborigines of continental Australia.

The centrepiece of the exhibition, Sesserae, relates the ancestral story of a willy-wagtail bird. The story, as is the case with all Nona's works in this exhibition, is rich and intricate in how it details community, social and cultural norms, such as the application and transfer of knowledge about constellations, weather patterns and animal behaviours, and hunting and fishing traditions.

No comments: