Napolean Oui, 'Spider -Rainforest Shield Design'
Artist: Napolean Phillip Oui
Langauge: Djabugay (Tjapukai)
Artist's statement: My country is Tjapukai and I have worked for 10 years as a cultural performer, presenter and educator at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Cairns.
It is my strong connection to the traditional culture that inspires my paintings.
The traditional rainforest shields incorporate bold designs which are truly unique, found only in the rainforest region of FNQ and unlike any other Aboriginal art.
It is these designs that inspire my contemporary interpretation onto canvas. I express our connection to living things and the land in the designs using strong ochre colors highlighted by black outlines as found traditionally on shields. It is my hope to show this unique and little known Indigenous traditional style to the world.
I am also a member of the Aboriginal Rainforest Art Group (ARAG) which is a group of like minded artists drawing inspiration from our traditional art.
Artwork story: Spiders of various kinds were totems of the traditional rainforest people of far north Queensland for thousands of years. This is my stylized version of how I picture a design on the traditional rainforest shields.
Image courtesy of the artist.