2015, Linocut on paper, 77cm (h) x 107cm (w)
Dogai are spiritual beings that invariably take the form of women and are ugly; often with hideous features. It is said the Dogai swings Baizam's tail causing wild winds and very high tides, leading to erosion and broken fences. Naiger (north east winds from October to end of December) blows when Dogai is seen. When Dogai appears, fish, octopus and sardines can be seen floating on the water and dry coconuts fall before maturing.
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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