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Thanakupi

THANCOUPIE---Pot.jpg

Thanakupi | Thainakuith (Thanaquith) language group | Australia b.1937 | Pot: (Orinde the tortoise) c.1995 | Stoneware, hand built, with oxide decoration on incised design and rubbed glaze | 18 x 16cm (diam.) | Purchased 2003. The Queensland Government's special Centenary Fund | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Thanakupi, Pot (Orinde the tortoise) c. 1995

Thanakupi
Thainakuith (Thanaquith) language group
Australia b.1937
Pot: (Orinde the tortoise) c.1995
Stoneware, hand built, with oxide decoration on incised design and rubbed glaze
18 x 16cm (diam.)
Purchased 2003. The Queensland Government's special Centenary Fund
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Thanakupi

Pot: (Orinde the tortoise) c.1995

Thanakupi is a renowned Indigenous potter from regional Queensland, who uses clay to convey the ancestral narratives of her Thainakuith people from west Cape York Peninsula.

Thanakupi often draws on personal experience in making her work. As a child, she accompanied her family to collect seasonal foods. Thainakuith people recognise that when the flowers bloom on certain trees, and leaves on others begin to fall, it is time for hunting tortoises. This traditional food is plentiful in her father's country on the northern side of Mission River.

Pot: (Orinde the tortoise) is a small, hand-built pot. Thanakupi has given it dramatic form by sharply chiselling the base, reducing the foot to a finely balanced point. Into the thin wash of glaze on the stoneware surface she has incised a dynamic flurry of long-necked tortoises; these are highlighted with an oxide infill. The impression of an underwater environment is further enhanced by a pattern of random bubble shapes on the surface of the pot.

Thanakupi still maintains a strong connection with her father's country. Since 1991 she has run the Bouchat Holiday Program during the June and September school holidays. Local children experience traditional foods, learn about bush medicines and broaden their understanding of Thainakuith culture.