ROBERT TOMMY PAU, 'The Process of Colonization in the Strait', 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 61 x 76.2 cm
"The painting shows the institutions that bought progressive enlightenment – the boat represent the commercial resource seeking. Commercial fishers first worked and employed/exploited the local people. This was followed by religion. The London Missionary Society (LMS) bought human rights watch on the commercial exploitation. The LMS established educational institution which followed by the government schools. The church also taught theocratic governance which was also followed by the Government local government, Mamoose system. The missionary Reverend Fred Walker also created a philanthropic fund for Islanders to get loans to work in the mariculture and be included in global capitalism that was happening in the Torres Strait."
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.