Exhibition Information

Earthly Bound • Brian Robinson

14 July to 29 July 2015

Mossenson Galleries, 115 Hay Street, Subiaco WA 6008

Marking our 22nd anniversary, Mossenson Galleries presents an exhibition by multi-skilled contemporary artist Brian Robinson, winner of the 2013 West Australian Indigenous Art Award. This exhibition is set to coincide with Robinson’s inclusion in important exhibitions at QAGOMA, Parliament House, Flinder's University and the Art Gallery of South Australia.

We invite you to a special evening with the artist, including a floortalk on Monday 27 July 2015, 6-8pm.

Artist's Statement:

Across every island in the Torres Strait flowering and fruiting trees line the streets and surround the communities growing wild or in garden plots. Hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvillea, coconut, beach almond, mango, banana and even wongai [to name a few] bare garlands and fruit year round..

Skill in gardening was dependant on understanding the four seasons: Kuki [north-west winds], Sager [south-east trade winds], Zey [southerly winds] and Naigai [northerly winds] including knowledge of the movement of stars and constellations, tidal patterns, and migration of birds and certain sea creatures. Agricultural fertility also entailed a respect for inherited ancestral land and knowledge of how to influence rainfall and the growth of plants through actions, words, songs and the use of figures and stones.

Particular masks were made for ceremonies and rituals that assisted with increased garden produce. These masks, referred to as Mawa in the Western Islands, were worn by the village sorcerer along with a ceremonial costume made of coconut leaf when the gardens were ready for harvesting. Connected to the spirit world through these ceremonial masks, these magically charged objects were the bolts of lightning through which otherworldly spirits and ancestors could interact with and influence the human world.

This sorcerer was able to communicate with the zugubal, the great spirits in the night sky through the madhub that were left near the garden in small shrines. These charms were used to promote growth in the gardens, some bringing rain, others taking it back to the heavens while others again encouraged plant growth.

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