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Billy Missi, Waru padh (green turtle nest)

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Billy Missi, Waru padh (green turtle nest)

Linocut printed in black ink from one block, handcoloured
Edition of 90, 2008
Published by Djumbunji Press KickArts Fine Art Printmaking
Image size: 1000mm x 655mm
Paper size: 1200mm x 810mm
Paper type: Arches BFK 290gsm cotton
Ink type: Van Son
Printed by Ron McBurnie

Artist: Billy Missi
Tribe: Wagedagam, Gumu, Panai
Totem: Kodal, Kaigas, Dhanghal 
Language: Kala Lagaw Ya 
Language Block: Western Torres Strait

Billy Missi, born 1970, was raised on Mabuaig Island and Moa Island in the Western Torres Strait, he currently lives in Cairns.

Artwork story: All Torres Strait Islands have individual significance and a uniqueness about them, whether it's to do with the vegetation or the eco-system. Maluilgal Country (Western Torres Strait), in particular, is a part of the Great Dividing Range that once long ago formed a land bridge, linking Australia to Papua New Guinea's highlands. We have high peaks with surrounding rainforest as well. During the big monsoonal rain our rainforests are lively and glow green. Green Turtles crawl up onto the beaches to the fringe of the thick bushes to lay their eggs on the uninhabited little Isles. This is the only time Green Turtles lay. From the minute they lay, goannas are usually not far away to sniff and invade the nest before hunting parties arrive. At the beginning of the year the eggs hatch and a new life cycle of Green Turtles begins. They face threats from scavenging seagulls along the shorelines and predators when they reach the ocean. The rains of the monsoon bring new life for us to share and appreciate our natural surroundings in the wilderness between two masses of land, Papua New Guinea toward the north and Australia to the south.