Indigenous Art Resources

Dennis Nona's new prints are quite brilliant.

story illustration
Published Thursday, February 17, 2005

Dennis Nona's 4 new prints, are going to be print collectors' choice for this year. Two of the new prints are remarkable for their very large and quite intricate linocuts.

These four prints will be included in the artistís first solo show that opens at the Darwin Entertainment Centre Gallery during the Telstra indigenous art award week later this year.

The two linocuts are monumental prints (1.5 metres x 1.2 metres and 1.2 metres x 2.1 metres) and take the artistís work in this medium to a new level.

Following an Australia Council sponsored residency at Brighton University (UK) during 2003 Dennis has been exploring the etching process. His first two editions in this medium are quite extraordinary.

In creating these complex but delicate etchings, Dennis cuts out sections of the imagery to create both contrast and a sculpturally embossed surface texturing. This technique and the Yamaral-Kulis or Bubu, (strong current), which Dennis uses to describe the background patterning in his linocuts, plus the scale of these prints, sees him breaking new ground in every new work he produces.

The updated biography documents the enormous amount Dennis has achieved for such a young artist. When these new prints and the others in his coming solo show are seen by a wider audience it will enhance his reputation even further.

Dennis is an exceptional Torres Strait Islander artist producing extraordinarily innovative work. We believe that these four prints will be seen as being very important in terms of his progression towards becoming a highly acclaimed artist. The four prints by Dennis Nona are available from Aboriginal Art Prints by clicking here.

The images are courtesy of Aboriginal Art Prints and Denis Nona.

Title - Sazi - Special Root

Story: This marine blue etching depicts the effect of Sazi in a sea lagoon. Sazi is a special root used by Torres Strait Islanders to intoxicate the fish so that a plentiful catch is easily available.

The Sazi root is crushed and its liquid released into the sea lagoon or the inland swamps from where creeks and rivers form.

In the swamp there are barramundi, mullet and prawns and in the lagoon there is a wide variety of fish. Sazi root is used especially for community feasting on ceremonial occasions.
Medium - Etching
Edition size - 99
Image size - 500mm x 320mm

Sazi by Dennis Nona
Title: - Gapu Dhangal
Story: Gapu Dhangal means Sucker Fish and Dugong in western Torres Strait language. This is one of the traditional ways of hunting for dugongs in the western Torres Strait Islands.
A rope made out of coconut fibres is tied to the Sucker Fish and then released into the water where the hunters know the Dugong are feeding. The Sucker Fish attaches itself to the Dugong, and then the hunters follow the Dugong until it is weak and finally the hunters harpoon it.
Medium - Etching
Edition size - 99
Image size - 180mm x 610mm.
Gapu Dhangal by Dennis Nona
Title: - Awai Yithuyil
Story:Awai Tithuyil is the western Torres Strait Island name for the Pelican constellation. This particular group of stars was known to traditional Badu Island astronomers who are called Zugubau Mabaigal. The Pelican constellation consists of 26 stars. Itís location from the Torres Strait Islands is south of the Australian mainland which is known as Naigai dagam. This constellation is seen throughout the year, mostly in an inverted position. From August through October it begins to rotate reaching an upright position in September where it looks to be floating. When the Pelican is in the upright position it is the season for turtle mating. This season is called Naigai. It is also the season for a very popular Torres Strait Island fruit called Wangai, which is known as Ubar in western Torres Strait language.
Medium - Linocut Kaidaral with handcolouring
Edition size - 45
Image size - 1250mm x 1060mm
Awai Yithuyil by Dennis Nona
Title: - Sessere
Story:The Wakaid Clan of Badu Island tell the legend of the Willy Wagtail bird. Sessere, a young man of Tulu went fishing every morning at low tide. He would often fish on other peoples traditional fishing grounds. Boundary rocks were set by different family clans and punishment was often given to him in the form of breaking all his spears.
Medium - Hand coloured linocut
Edition size -45
Image size - 1120mm x 2000mm
Sessere by Dennis Nona

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