ROBERT TOMMY PAU, 'Mahina', 2021, linocut on somerset velvet white 300gsm 100% cotton, 59.5 x 78.5 cm
"This print commemorates the loss of life from the tropical cyclone, Mahina in March 1899. 300 lives were lost, and 100 vessels of the Torres Strait fleet was destroyed. This was an industrial maritime disaster that has escape the conscious of the Queensland and Australian public. The monument at Bathurst Bay has a footnote for the nameless Indigenous lives lost. An Islander women form Erub (Darnley Island) save two European males by swimming 7 hours in cyclonic conditions to shore. She was awarded a medal for bravery."
Tommy is a descendant of the Eastern Torres Strait Islands, Australian Aboriginal, Papua New Guinea, Pacific Islander and Asia. He speaks Torres Strait Creole and Australian English. He was taught about the need to keep culture strong through cultural practice by his father. He has a strong commitment to keeping old traditions alive and believes that culture must remain true to the past and move with time to exist in the future. Tommy has considerable experience in the arts and his art forms of choice include printmaking, painting and sculpture.