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Land, Sea and Sky: Contemporary Art of the Torres Strait Islands

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Allson Tabuai | Kalaw Kawaw Ya people | Dhibal (Victory headdress) 2003–04 | Cane, feathers, cotton cloth, cotton thread, synthetic polymer paint | Purchased 2004. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

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Dennis Nona | Kala Lagaw Ya people | Thabara 1992 | Linocut 'a la poupee' on paper | Purchased 1993. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

1 July - 9 October 2011 | Gallery of Modern Art

View the opening weekend celebrations on our YouTube channel | Official Opening Part 1 | Official Opening Part 2 | Thaiwa Dancers (Iama/Cairns) | Saamkarem Era Kodomer Dance Troop (Erub) | Koranga Saibai Kodhal Dance Group | Alick Tipoti artist talk | Segar Passi artist talk |

Land, Sea and Sky: Contemporary Art of the Torres Strait Islands is a free exhibition. Presented across the major Level 3 galleries at GoMA, this is the largest and possibly the most significant exhibition to date of contemporary art by Torres Strait Islander artists anywhere in the world.

'Land, Sea and Sky' embraces the cultural and practical significance of land, sea and sky to Torres Strait Islander people and its influence on their art.

The exhibition celebrates the unique and diverse contemporary art from the Islands, and includes dance objects, prints, film, video, textiles, ceramics and installations drawn from the Queensland Art Gallery's significant collection of works by Torres Strait Islander artists as well as key loans and commissioned works.

The exhibition will reinforce cultural knowledge for Islanders and will present their rich and complex cultures to broader audiences, including performance and oral history. It will be an all encompassing exhibition, representing different island groups as well as mainland and urban groups. Works by more than 40 artists, including major commissions of exciting new works, and loans from both important public and private collections across Australia, will be shown.

Education resource

A free online education resource, featuring artist interviews, art work images, discussion questions and activities, is available for teachers and students to download. Teachers are also able to request a copy on disk by emailing their name and address to edmail@qag.qld.gov.au.

PowerPoint:

Download the education resource PowerPoint here. (11.8mb)

Videos:

Download the accompanying PowerPoint videos. To download, right click movie links and select "save link as...":

My Art Trail

1 July – 9 October 2011 | Level 3, GoMA
People from the Torres Strait Islands have always made art, told stories and sung songs about living in their country. This is the focus of an interactive art trail for children and families which includes drawing activities and stories that explore the significance of the land, sea and sky in Torres Strait Island art and culture. Read more

Opening Weekend Celebrations

View the Official Opening of 'The Torres Strait Islands: A Celebration' & 'Land, Sea & Sky: Contemporary Art of the Torres Strait Islands' online from 10:30am – 12:30pm Saturday 2 July at http://qag.qld.gov.au/webcast

Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July
The Torres Strait Islands: A Celebration opening weekend centres around a coming together of the community and the general public to enjoy performances, workshops, talks, food, culture and exhibitions highlighting the rich traditions and contemporary culture of the Torres Strait.

Visiting artists and groups from the Torres Strait will perform alongside local community groups and contemporary performers to produce a diverse and engaging series of events across the Cultural Centre precinct.

Events during NAIDOC Week

Thursday 7 July

11.00am | NADIOC Week Celebrations | Enjoy a performance by the local Wakka Wakka dance troop on the Bodhi Tree Terrace, GoMA. Free/no bookings necessary.

11.30am | NAIDOC Week Celebrations: Angus Rabbit performance | Join NAIDOC Week Celebrations with this performance from Angus Rabbit at the Bodhi Tree Terrace, GoMA | Free /no bookings necessary.

12.30pm | NADIOC Week Celebrations: 'From body to Gallery – dance machine demonstration' | See the practical applications of these intricate works with Uncle Milton Walit, Member of the local Koranga Saibai Kodhal dance group, in discussion with John Francia (Exhibitions Project Officer, Queensland Art Gallery). Includes a demonstration of how some of the headdresses and costumes displayed in the exhibition are used in Torres Strait Island dance. | 'Land, Sea and Sky: Contemporary Art of the Torres Strait Islands' exhibition space, Level 3 | Free /no bookings necessary.

Ailan Kores: Simultaneous Live Webcast from Thursday Island

5:30pm | Sunday 17 July 2011 | Cinema A, GoMA

A Queensland Music Festival choral spectacular celebrating the unity and diversity of the Torres Strait Islander culture. Featuring the Choir of the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula, Torres Strait Youth Choir, Queensland Youth Orchestra and six vocal soloists. The Basala Ya Kwaya will perform as part of the 2011 Queensland Music Festival on Thursday Island to be broadcast via live webcast at 5.30pm Sunday 17 July to Cinema A, Gallery of Modern Art. Arrangements by Damian Barbeler, choir led by Cygnet Repu and trained by Alison Rogers as part of the Queensland Music Festival 2011. Read more 


The Torres Strait Islands: A Celebration

The Torres Strait is a vast region of Australia that is still largely unknown to the majority of Australians. Located between the northern tip of Cape York and Papua New Guinea, the Torres Strait comprises over 270 islands. 17 are inhabited by Torres Strait Island peoples – Australia's other Indigenous culture, very different from mainland Aboriginal cultures.

From 1 July to 23 October 2011, Queensland's major arts organisations at the Cultural Centre, South Bank, are joining forces to present The Torres Strait Islands: A Celebration, which will showcase the diversity and vibrancy of historical and contemporary arts and culture of Torres Strait Islander Australians. The Torres Strait Islands: A Celebration encompasses:

  • Land, Sea and Sky: Contemporary Art of the Torres Strait Islands, an exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art including more than 40 artists, 1 July – 9 October 2011
  • Strait Home will bring the State Library of Queensland's significant collections to life, through exhibitions, special events and activities, 1 July – 23 October 2011
  • Awakening: Stories from the Torres Strait features striking ceremonial masks, hand-crafted tools of daily life and internationally significant archaeological findings at Queensland Museum South Bank, 25 June – 2 October, 2011
  • A new work by the Bangarra Dance Theatre, 1–9 July, 2011; and the Mabo Oration, 3 July 2011, at QPAC.

TSI-CulturalCelebration

This exhibition forms part of 'The Torres Strait Islands: A Celebration', presented by Queensland's major arts organisations at the Cultural Centre, South Bank, showcasing the diversity and vibrancy of historical and contemporary arts and culture of Torres Strait Islander Australians. Visit for more information.