Edmund Laza, Yawar, 2016, linocut print on paper, 200x119.5cm (image size), edition of 12
"Yawar was a very skilled gardener. He was renowned for his evergreen plantation. As a sorcerer he always practiced rituals before he planted. In my work I depict him as a dancer wearing a zaazi and dhoeri. He wears the dhoeri covering his eyes to indicate that he did not want to share his planting techniques.
The patterns depicted in the background represent spiritual ancestors associated with gardening. The posture of his hands shows the shape of the Kuruway (rainbow) that connects the soil from Badu Island in the Western Torres Strait to the eastern islands. The designs shown on his body, arms and legs represent the frustration of other village people who were jealous of his gardening skills. This was one of many stories told to me by my grandfather."
Kala Lagaw Ya translation by Alick Tipoti
Yawar nuy mina ayngu uthuy mabayg. Nuyn wara mabaygan matha thaw madh, nungu apaw zageth ika. Nuy puyilayg a nungu kedha, nuydh girel kulay yoewthan wagel kayne apaw zageth kuyk ayman. Inub zageth nu muynu palayzinga, nuy girelaw mabayg. Nubiya zaazi yarsik a dhoeri kuykunu boelsik. Dhoerin nungu dan uradhka kuyk kedha nungu muynu ubinginga nuydh ngurpan warigal mina apaw zageth ika.
Setha wara mineral kaliya pilemka, maril. Thana ngoedhe apaw madhubal. Yawaran geth gimal gasamzinga ngoedhe kuruway. Kuruwayan yaadu palgan ngoelmun apaw zagethaw ngurpay kedha paypa kidh paru lagaka. Wara mineral nungu gamuyab, ngariyab a gethiyab palayzinga thonar tidayk setha ngaya nubiya adhaz mimidh, kerkath walamidh kuyk yawaran ngulayg apaw zageth ika.
Please note: due to the size of this work, editions are printed on demand. Edition limited to 12 prints. Please allow time for printing, signing by the artist and dispatch to your destination.