BILLY MISSI | 'Kulba Yadail (old lyrics)' Linocut Print

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Kulba yadail (old lyrics), Billy Missi, 2006. Edition of 90. Published by KickArts, printed by Theo Tremblay.

Linocut printed in black ink from one block
Edition of 90, 2006
Published by Djumbunji Press KickArts Fine Art Printmaking
Image size: 845mm x 475mm
Paper size: 1090mm x 700mm
Paper type: Arches BFK 300 gsm
Ink Type: Van Son
Printed by Theo Tremblay, Editions Tremblay; David Jones, Elizabeth Hunter
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).

Billy Missi, 1970- 2012

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

Story: "In our culture, the stories and other knowledge of our world have always been handed down orally from generation to generation since time immemorial. It is this knowledge that provides guidance. From the boys' perspective, it is their uncles, fathers and sometimes grandfathers who teach them this knowledge. This plays a big role later in life. Kulba Yadail teaches us to read the stars, the moon and the sea.
This image symbolises Kulba Yadail that describes our environment, our culture and also our identity.
The piece is divided into three parts: the constellations of the stars, the land and the four seasons of the Torres Strait.
There are important Zugubal (star constellations) that move through the sky and are intimately connected top the four seasons. One of the most important Zugubal is the Baidam (shark) which is closely observed in the Western Torres Straits as a signal for changes in the tides, wind and seasons. The four seasons are represented as Sager (south-east trade winds), Gabu Thornar (winter), Naigai (the calm Northerly wind before monsoon) and Kuki (the monsoon). The relationship between the stars and the seasons determines when we can cultivate, hunt and harvest the food from the sea and land.
The swaying pattern that runs diagonally from the top left to the bottom right symbolizes all of this complex knowledge, that is known as Kulba Yadail." 

Billy Missi