Joel Sam, Mazau bidthail (reef squid)

Joel Sam, Mazau bidthail (reef squid)


Linocut printed in black ink from one block
Edition of 35, 2008
Published by Djumbunji Press KickArts Fine Art Printmaking
Image size: 600 mm x 1500 mm
Paper size: 800 mm H x 1700 mm
Paper type: Hahnemühle 350 GSM
Ink type: Van Son
Printed by Theo Tremblay, David Jones

Joel Sam's family lives in Bamaga and originates from Saibai Island. Born on Thursday Island he currently lives in Cairns, having finished his art studies in 2005 with a Diploma of Art from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Visual Arts Course at the Tropical North Queensland TAFE. Over the last 6 years he has been developing an art practice and technical skills in the medium of the linocut. Joel's artworks are inspired by his culture, and the images are of sea creatures that live in and around the Torres Strait, such as turtles, dugong, the fish of the reef and the shells and corals of the Coral Sea. The squid (bidthai) represents a main food source, which Torres Strait Islanders hunt most of the time. Joel is a regular exhibitor at KickArts, and Djumbunji Press KickArts Fine Art Printmaking is publishing several of his new prints.

Artwork story: The Mazau Bidthail (reef squid) are usually found around the reef. They are an excellent food source and can be found feeding on sardines, baby turtles, prawns and fish.

Upon the north westerly wind (kuki), when it blows, their food source becomes scarce and the Mazau Bidthail move towards the coastal areas and shelter near the mangroves whilst searching for food. Some Mazau Bidthail remain in the coastal areas where food sources are plentiful, others return with the tide and wind back to the reef and some move to deeper waters.

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