Billy Missi, Gudakathurai (consultation)
Linocut printed in black ink from one block
Edition of 90, 2008
Published by Djumbunji Press KickArts Fine Art Printmaking
Image size: 300mm x 300mm
Paper size: 520mm x 515mm
Paper type: Arches BFK 300 GSM
Ink type: Van Son
Printed by: Ron McBurnie
Billy Missi, 1970- 2012, was from Kubin Village, Moa Island in Zenadh-Kes (the Torres Strait). His solo exhibition Urapun Kai Buai (One Big Kin) focuses on family and cultural protocols, and the artist's contemporary life experiences growing up in Zenadh-Kes. Missi is known as one of the leading printmakers of this region, having exhibited widely and achieved both national and international acclaim. He comes from a respected family of art practitioners and choreographers, from the tribes of Wagedagam, Geomu and Panai in Malu Lilgal (Western Torres Strait). His work is based on reasons for survival. He states: "The Torres Strait has a complex history and culture, vegetation and eco systems that work with the phases of the moon, so the livelihood of people in that region is based on, and strongly connected with the natural surroundings, hunting and gathering, identifying foods. Its why our people have continued to pass on traditional stories and cultural traditions".
Story: "This term translates along the line of, 'Ask and it shall be given unto you.'
In our culture it is very important that you ask permission of the appropriate people before you take something. For example, you must ask the dugong clan leader before spearing dugong for ceremonies or the events of neighbouring tribes. To marry into another family you as a young man would have to talk to your Wadhuam (uncle). You must ask before you break fruits, such as coconuts, from certain trees of other family members.
It also extends to the use of any intellectual property of associated clans or tribes."