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We are proud to have worked with invited artist Brian Robinson for Ephemera 2021 in Townsville. Robinson’s artwork, Krar Tud, was one of 28 artworks displayed during the event. Krar Tud are Kala Lagaw Ya language words from the Western Islands of Torres Strait that translate into English as turtleshell fish-hook.

This artwork presents an engaging, site-specific artwork that expresses the relevance and importance of hunting and gathering as a vital source of food, travel, and physical activity. Krar Tud is an object that references and reflects a life spent in, on and around the sea.

As Robinson explains:

‘The Western concept of art, creating an object purely for the expression or aesthetic satisfaction would have been difficult for Islanders to understand. Their art surrounded them. It was a practical, utilitarian art created to serve a functional need – the rituals of social and religious life. There was also a considerable amount of non-religious art that was created that extended to tools, weapons, dance and musical instruments, domestic objects, and body decoration.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ knowledge of the habits of many forms of marine life and their highly developed skills of hunting and fishing ensured them of a ready supply of seafood. In Torres Strait, fishing from the canoe, shore or around the reefs was done either by the use of fishing lines made from vine, vegetable fibres or coconut fibres with hooks fashioned from turtleshell and sinkers made from stone. In the Western Islands, the bamboo-pronged fishing spear was used for reef spearing.’

For collectors

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters, culture, and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.