ROBERT TOMMY PAU, 'Monkey and Tortol', 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 61 x 76.2 cm
"I have come to understand that this song is a Pilipino fable with a TS context. The slop tin mention in the song was the slop chest that the master boat used to indenture labour from the Pacific and East Asia. The damper was the Islander dependence on subsistence living."
Courtesy of the artist.
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.