Zenardh-Zes’aw Malu | The Torres Strait Seas

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    About the artist – Laurie Nona

    Laurie Nona has been collected by the National Gallery of Australia since the 1990’s and is regarded as one of the most exciting artists in the Torres Strait. Laurie works beautifully across lino relief, copper plate etching and carving with a unique strength - both in style and symbol. He is ambitious and courageous as an artist and has successfully completed some superb works including a massive tribal drum, standing over 6 feet tall.

    All of Laurie’s work shows his deep connections to, and recognition of the importance of Island culture. His work recognises his place in the greater wider world and shows beautiful relationships with the fish and other creatures from the ocean, the skies and winds, the storms and currents and the Islands of the Torres Strait.

    A leader and a warrior at heart, “Uncle Laurie” is revered across the Torres Strait and well known for his work. His versatility is almost perhaps without precedent - and he journeys into colour, form and design across his tribal drums, hand-coloured etchings and prints. Perhaps one of his greatest strengths is the purity of his line, and the careful and wise balance of form, design, and function in his imagery.


    About the artwork - Zenardh-Zes’aw Malu

    In this image of our ZK-Sea’s, I portray the Torres Strait Islands main Fisheries’ (Trocus, Sea-Cucumber, Fin-flsh/Coral Trout and Crayflsh).

    The patterns depict the traditional understanding and our affiliation with the creatures of the islands, seas, reefs and sky. The connection and the relationship between the land, the sea, the sky and us the islanders determines how and when we fish. The Divers within the image represents the fisherman (Malu Mabaygal)

    The patterns with the sea-cucumber are showing the moons fazes associated with the winds and tides. The flowing patterns that hold and twirl around the four fish, represents the existence of knowledge, connection to sea country, island country and the passing of that knowledge. This flowing patterns cycles around the four fisheries, this also encompass the governance of the fisheries law and our cultural lore’s protocols and the respect our ‘Mother the sea’.

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    Page last updated: 12/02/2023