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Alick Tipoti

Alick_Tipoti.jpg

Alick Tipoti | Torres Strait Islander | Australia b.1975 | Kobupa thoerapiese 1999 Linocut on paper ed. 4/98 | 99 x 65.5cm | Purchased 2001 with funds from Energex Brisbane Festival 2000 through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Alick Tipoti, 'Kobupa thoerapiese', 1999

Alick Tipoti
Torres Strait Islander
Australia  b.1975
Kobupa thoerapiese 1999
Linocut on paper ed. 4/98
99 x 65.5cm
Purchased 2001 with funds from Energex Brisbane Festival 2000 through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Alick Tipoti

Kobupa thoerapiese 1999

Alick Tipoti was born on Waiben (Thursday Island) in the Torres Strait Islands (north of Queensland's Cape York Peninsula). As early as 1990 he developed a deep interest in art and has since become a dynamic contemporary printmaker.

Tipoti looks to his elders for permission to retell, in linocut prints, narratives of earlier times when warrior heroes reigned. The large scale and visual density of his starkly contrasting black-and-white images capture the eye and absorb the mind, propelling the viewer into another space and time. These images are often inspired by traditional motifs, once incised on ritual artefacts.

Kobupa thoerapiese means 'preparing for war' in the Kala Kawaw Ya language of the north-western islands of the Torres Strait. The central image is of a Saibai Island warrior in a typically dramatic dancing posture, wearing the traditional regalia worn in inter-island conflict.

The figure is interwoven with a complex background design, embodying the spirit and meaning of a song about Aka (a legendary tame crocodile) disguised among ritual objects, and land and sea creatures. Through this representation, the artist reclaims the history of his people and asserts their deep links with their marine environment.