Wednesday, May 11, 2016

2016 Eddie Koiki Mabo Commemorative Art Exhibition: Tommy Pau's Ad Wer (Story of the Stars From Eastern Torres Strait)

Image credit: Wal (Two of Tagai's Crew)
 Linocut print by Tommy Pau
Each year JCU Library and Information Services hosts an exhibition by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander artist to celebrate the official naming of the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library and the release of the University’s Reconciliation Statement on 21 May 2008.

This year the artist is Tommy Pau and his exhibition is titled Ad Wer (Story of the Stars from Eastern Torres Strait). Ad Wer is a body of linocut print artworks  based on the constellations and the science of astronomy used by the Eastern Torres Strait Islanders. Torres Strait Islanders observed the stars to govern their cosmos; to navigate, to plan, to plant, to study symbiotic relationships of space and time. This tells them when to hunt, plant seasonal foods and perform timely annual ceremonies.

Pau sourced his information from casual conversations with elders present, elders past and ethnography works on the Torres Strait. The intent of this exhibition is to preserve, educate and provoke future studies on the science of stars Torres Strait Islanders used in their cosmology. This knowledge is fast disappearing as the contemporary generations become more reliant on modern technology and methods.

The exhibition will run from Friday May 20th to Sunday June 26th 2016 in the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library (Townsville) and is open for the public to view during Library opening hours. The exhibition is being run in partnership with Umbrella Studios, Townsville.

The exhibition also coincides with National Reconciliation Week which runs from May 27th to June 3rd (which is Mabo Day). Other JCU events to mark Reconciliation week will occur during this period to enact aspects of JCU's Reconciliation Action Plan.

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