An exhibition by Tommy Pau toured by Umbrella Studio contemporary arts on behalf of JCU Library and Information Services.
The exhibition will be officially opened by Professor Martin Nakata, PVC (Indigenous Education and Strategy), Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre, James Cook University.
The Eddie Koiki Mabo Library Art Exhibition is held on the anniversary of the naming of the University Library on the Townsville Campus after Eddie Koiki Mabo (b. June 29, 1936 - d. January 21, 1992) - a Torres Strait Islander activist, and former JCU staff member and student.
Ad Wer: Story of the Stars from Erub Island is a body of linocut print artworks by Tommy Pau based on the constellations and the science of astronomy used by eastern Torres Strait Islanders.
The methodology of the Torres Strait Islanders has been careful observation over thousands of years. Each observation recorded and etched into their memories and passed down verbally and 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. These events are etched into memories and experiences.
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.
Image credit: Wal (Two of Tagai's Crew), Linocut print by Tommy Pau