ARTIST: Billy Missi, 1970- 2012, was a Maluilgal man from Mabuiag Island in the Torres Strait. Billy is known as one of the leading printmakers of this region, having exhibited widely and achieved both national and international acclaim. He comes from a respected family of art practitioners and choreographers, from the tribes of Wagedagam, Geomu and Panai in Malu Lilgal (Western Torres Strait).
ARTWORK DETAILS: Sapur au kubi (dark flock of bats), linocut printed in black ink from one block, edition of 90, 2006, 693 x 995 mm. Published by Djumbunji Press KickArts Fine Art Printmaking.
ARTWORK STORY: During mango, almond and cashew nut season a lot of Sapur (flying foxes) come to our village and gardens. When the sun begins to set in the western sky, the Sapur usually come in flocks from the thick mangroves that fringe the coastline. The Sapur only come out at dusk to raid the fruit trees so that people cannot see them. Otherwise they would be targeted by hunters and chased away. Despite this they do make a lot of noise as they feed. The Sapur suck the juice out of the fruit and dispose of the rest making a lot of mess under the trees. They do this all night until morning breaks when they take flight back to their isolated, thick scrubs and mangroves. Growing up in the islands in the 1970s, these sightings were common during fruit season. It is our uncles who tell us that whenever flocks of Sapur approach the gardens, the fruit is ripe. This image shows a large number of Sapur flying to the village to feed on the fruit trees. They circle above the trees to choose where they will feed for the evening.
Blak Flair is a KickArts creative merchandise project that has been generously supported by the Christensen Fund. The project aims to develop a collection of merchandise that portrays the work of Indigenous artists from Far North Queensland to promote their work and cultural importance to the broader community.
Dimensions: 210 x 150mm