ROBERT TOMMY PAU, 'Boarder Not Changed', 2021, linocut on somerset velvet white 300gsm 100% cotton, 74.5 x 58 cm
"When Papua New Guinea was decolonized, they want to annex the Torres Strait (TS). The negotiation went on for seven years until the Torres Strait Islanders were called to the table to decide their future. Gough Whitlam wanted to appease the process by giving the Torres Strait away. Bjeke Petersen argued relentlessly for the second annexation TS as territory of Queensland. When the Islanders were consulted and involved in the process, they unequivocal stated they were citizens of Queensland and Australian and Australia owed them a lot for the resources raiding of the region as revenue for the state of Queensland in the 1800s and early 1900s."
Courtesy of the artist.
Tommy is a descendant of the Eastern Torres Strait Islands, Australian Aboriginal, Papua New Guinea, Pacific Islander and Asia. He speaks Torres Strait Creole and Australian English. He was taught about the need to keep culture strong through cultural practice by his father. He has a strong commitment to keeping old traditions alive and believes that culture must remain true to the past and move with time to exist in the future. Tommy has considerable experience in the arts and his art forms of choice include printmaking, painting and sculpture.