Spirit Dancing: Ken Thaiday and Roy Wiggan

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Spirit Dancing: Ken Thaiday and Roy Wiggan

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Thursday 6 September 2007 – Saturday 13 October 2007

Creation Story (detail) by Ken Thaiday, mixed mediaCo-curated with Mieke DeDeyne, this unusual exhibition of sculpture and ilma highlights the work of two of Australia’s senior coastal Indigenous male artists.

Originally from Erub (Darnley Island) in the Torres Strait and now living in Cairns, artist Ken Thaiday produces sculptural works or “devices” that are based on traditional head-gear used to perform his people’s shark dreaming stores.

Thaiday’s shark dance headdresses are made of plywood, wire, string, bamboo, feathers and more to create moveable and ornate headdresses and devices.

Senior Bardi (Broome) man Roy Wiggan creates traditional ilma or totems that are used with song to tell stories and make ceremonies. Tidal Dreaming by Roy Wiggan, mixed media Ilma stories are composed and owned by individuals and the men are said to have “received” the songs from the spirits of the ancestors.

Roy Wiggan’s work is made of painted boards and string.

Image (top): Ken Thaiday, "Creation Story" (detail), mixed media

Image (bottom): Roy Wiggan, "Tidal Dreaming" (detail), mixed media

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