One of the Torres Strait Islands’ most dynamic artists, Tipoti will present a selection of lino-prints, paintings and sculptures that reflect his culture and depict many meaningful symbols about the land, sea and sky through customary Torres Strait Island patterns.
Born and raised on Badu Island (Queensland), home to the biggest community in the outer Torres Strait, Tipoti was taught carving techniques by uncles from an early age. His involvement in making traditional dance costumes and dancing apparatus as a child led to his interest in creating art today.
He is also one of the few remaining people today who can speak the Torres Strait Island language of Kala Lagaw Ya fluently, another influence leading to the preservation of his culture and art practice. Existing artefacts from his home and the spiritual and ancestral guidance from his community elders have been key influences for Tipoti.
“My influence today is the spiritual side of ancestral guidance, ambient knowledge inspires me to create,” said Tipoti. “I listen back on recordings I took of my elders and it drives me to save the ancient knowledge and language from Badu Island culture.”
“Printmaking is the best way to obtain that traditional feel, carving patterns on ancient artefacts, painting to capture the same feel of ancient rock paintings seen around the island. This is all for the purpose of showing the world my culture,” says Tipoti.
Tipoti’s artwork is featured in collections throughout some of the most prestigious galleries and organisations in the world. Some of these include the University of Cambridge, UK, Parliament House, Wellington, New Zealand and National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Most recently he has created a rooftop installation in Monaco, France, designed to signify Badu Island culture.
Lagangu will be presented at the same time as fellow artist Samual Tupou, and his exhibition, Duplikator. The two solo exhibitions will showcase both traditional and contemporary perspectives of Torres Strait and Pacific Islander art and culture.
Alick Tipoti: Lagangu
Linden New Art, 26 Acland Street, St Kilda
Exhibition: 21 July – 9 October 2016
For more information, visit: www.lindenarts.org for details.
Image: Alick Tipoti, Ngulayg, 2013, lino print on paper. Image reproduced courtesy of the artist – photo by Michael Marzick