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).
"Mekai means ‘almond’, almond leaves, and almond trees. Islanders eat the whole fruit and nut. Typically found when people go out to little islands and cook fish, or out at a campsite. A lot of people grow almond trees at campsites. You can roast fish on the leaves or for anything you bake on the fire. They’re so big that they can be used as a plate, or used to wrap something, such as a fish. The tree gives pleasant shade at a campground. In the hot sun, a bench underneath the almond tree is beautiful".
Mekai au Nisal | Almond Leaves 2009 lithograph on stone, printed in colour matrix: 580 x 420 mm edition: bon à tirer printer: Theo Tremblay