'Gainau au Kubi (flock of Torres Strait pigeons)'. Billy Missi, Handcoloured linocut, 2008. Edition of 90. Published by KickArts, printed by Theo Tremblay.
Linocut printed in black ink from one block, handcoloured
Edition of 90, 2008
Published by Djumbunji Press KickArts Fine Art Printmaking
Image size: 670mm x 1010mm
Paper size: 810mm x 1210mm
Paper type: Arches BFK 300 GSM
Ink type: Van Son
Printed by: Theo Tremblay, Carolyn Craig, Elizabeth Hunter
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: "In Zenadh-Kes (the Torres Strait) since time immemorial, seasonal timeframes were always told by sightings of animals, birds, changes in vegetation, tides, rains and the constellations.
This image is about Gainau (Torres Strait pigeons) crossing over from Papua New Guinea's Western Province, South to Cape York's East and West coasts.
When these sighting occur, it indicates to our people that the Soalal (turtle mating) season is on, and the sharks are carrying eggs. It is when they are very vicious and touchy.
This knowledge as been handed down orally from generation to generation by our forefathers.