2015, Linocut on paper,77cm (h) x 107cm (w)
The Beizam constellation is made up of stars from Usras Major, Arctutus and Gemma of Corona Borealis. The seven chief stars of the Bear make up the body of the Beizam constellation. The two stars of the Bear form the eyes of the Beizam. The constellation Beizam has shrines dedicated to it. It was believed that Beizam's glow would help provide an abundance of coconuts, yams and bananas. The shrine was built and then left for up to four to five months. During this time, the people asked Beizam to make plenty of food and provide protection to the animals and damage from nature.
Having toured regional Queensland 2016-2018, Ad Wer: Story of the Stars from Eastern Torres Strait presented a body of linocut print works by Tommy Pau. The artist examined constellations used by the Eastern Islanders of the Torres Strait and their science of astronomy.
The methodology of the Torres Strait Islanders has been careful observation over thousands of years. Each observation recorded and etched into their memories, like experiences passed down orally to the next generation. The Islanders compare these natural seasonal timestamp changes so they are able to predict future planning for agriculture and hunting.
Tommy Pau is descendent of the Eastern Torres Strait Islands, his heritage is Australian Aboriginal, Papua New Guinea, Pacific Islander and Asian. He was born in Townsville, North Queensland and lived there as an infant before relocating to Brisbane, Thursday Island, Waiben and Cairns. Pau considers himself an artist who is Indigenous, not as an Indigenous artist. His wide ranging professional practice includes sculpture, carving, printmaking, installation work, digital and multimedia, and anything that grabs his interest. He also writes poetry.
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