The Clouds Have Stories: The Art of the Torres Strait Islands
7 Jan – 25 Feb 2012
Gallery of Modern Art & Cinema A
Hello my good friend. Welcome to the Torres Straits where you had left your heart and went away empty. Correspondence to Reverand Dr Reichnitz at Thursday Island Vicarage, 1954.
In July 2011, Brisbane's Cultural Centre provided the setting for a landmark project — a showcase of Torres Strait Island art and culture on a scale never before seen. For the Torres Strait Islander community, this collective exhibition was a chance to celebrate their vibrant Indigenous culture. Daniel Marsden was invited to document the project, resulting in this stunning testament to the artists and works featured.
'The Clouds Have Stories: the Art of the Torres Strait Islands is an intimate tribute to the artists of the Torres Strait and a testament to the power of the work they create. On Murray and Thursday islands we meet artists whose creative work draws on a history rich in storytelling and spiritualism. In Cairns we discover a contemporary print movement driven by a group of young men pushing the artistic boundaries of their culture. In Brisbane we share both the joy and trepidation of the artists as their work is celebrated in a thriving metropolitan art scene. Torres Strait art and culture is linked intrinsically with the land, the sea and sky. Through the eyes of its elders, musicians, visual artists, filmmakers and dancers we discover personal histories that echo with both triumph and tragedy. The Torres Strait is a place where gentle humour laps like the waves. Only the forces of nature are stronger than the ties of community. The Clouds Have Stories is a film that blurs the boundary between art and nature, between music and the spoken word. This is a unique portrait of a place and its people, and of islanders adrift, who make art in order to remember home.' Daniel Marsden, 2011