The ancient and the new @ Linden New Art

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Linden New Art celebrates the ancient and the new in two solo exhibitions by Alick Tipoti and Samuel Tupou

Lagangu > Alick Tipoti

Duplikator > Samuel Tupou

21 July to 9 October 2016

Alick Tipoti is recognised as one of the Torres Strait Islands’ most dynamic contemporary artists. Growing up on Badu Island, he learnt the traditional stories and language from his parents. He is a passionate ambassador for his culture through his visual art and dance and uses these art forms to inform, promote and strengthen Torres Strait Islander culture for future generations.

Artsit: Alick Tipoti

Artsit: Alick Tipoti

The driving force behind Alick’s passion for creating his art is cultural preservation. Alick’s exhibition will fill Linden’s gallery spaces with a series of new large-scale intricately carved lino-prints, paintings and sculptures. Most of the stories presented in Alick’s work tell about life on the sea and the creatures that inhabit it. The imagery tells of the important relationship to man and the way in which the sea sustains the islander peoples both physically and spiritually. He explores the connection with spiritual ancestors through the representation of totems such as the Dugong and Turtle.

Inherent in Torres Strait Islander culture is dance. In establishing the Zugabul Traditional Torres Strait Island dance group Alick has been able to keep this dynamic aspect of Torres Strait Islander culture alive. For Alick, “Zugabul dancers are all about ancient culture…period”. These ancient dances explore themes of spirits, ancient traditions and the sea and are performed mainly as chants both old and new. Through the Zugabul dances not only does Alick keep culture alive for the next generation, he demonstratively highlights his skill as a superior maker of traditional costume, headdresses and masks, through the use of modern and traditional materials and techniques.

Samuel Tupou - Duplikator July 2016

Samuel Tupou – Duplikator July 2016

Gallery Director, Melinda Martin, emphasises, “Presenting a solo exhibition by Alick Tipoti is a real coup for the gallery as he has just returned from Monaco where he completed a major installation on the roof top as part of an exhibition of his work at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco”.

Samuel Tupou’s exhibition Duplikator also finds its source in ancient islander culture. Born in New Zealand of Tongan and New Zealand descent, Tupou moved to Australia with his family and spent his formative years growing up in Nhulunbuy in Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory.

Alick Tipoti - Lagangu - Linden New Art - July 2016

Alick Tipoti – Lagangu – Linden New Art – July 2016

With only fragmented contact to his Father’s Tongan heritage growing up it was not until a visit in 1998 to his ancestral home that Samuel was surrounded by his Tongan heritage. This visit with his father and brother was truly the first time Samuel was exposed to the immense repertoire of patterning of the traditional Tapa (Ngatu) cloth. Samuel describes an overwhelming feeling of reverence and pride in viewing these incredibly detailed highly patterned large-scale cloths and even more importantly a connection to culture that he previously had not experienced. For Samuel it was the discovery of the source of his culture an emotional connection and an empowering vision from where to draw inspiration for his future work.

In his Linden exhibition, Duplikator, we find Samuel’s signature use of vivid colours, pop sensibility, and street art techniques combined with patterns inspired by Tapa designs. Adapting printmaking techniques such as silkscreen and printing onto layers of Perspex and PVC cut into shapes, his works are multi-layered both in appearance and cultural context. Central to his work are the exploration of themes covering migration, culture clash and loss of connection to culture. In this exhibition Samuel merges these themes, family history, memory and tradition within a modern visual framework, focusing on elements that unite through the use of recurring design motifs and patterning.

Gallery Director, Melinda Martin, “is pleased to be presenting Samuel’s work alongside his artistic hero Alick Tipoti and is looking forward to exploring the way in which two different cultures intersect”.

As part of Linden’s winter exhibition program a range of public programs were offered during July and August, including opportunities to meet both artists’ in the opening week. During August, a Crafternoon designed for adults and run by fibre-design artist, Adrienne Kneebone, will introduce traditional indigenous basketry techniques. Each participant will be taught the skills to create their very own woven basket.

Samuel Tupou and Alick Tipoti at Linden New Art July 2016

Samuel Tupou and Alick Tipoti at Linden New Art July 2016

Adult’s Crafternoon: Indigenous Basketry

Join fibre-design artist, Adrienne Kneebone for this hands-on workshop in which you will learn the ancient craft of twined basketry. You will learn how to harvest leaves, vines and grasses for weaving, how to prepare them and what traditional techniques to use. At the end of the session you will take home your own hand woven beautiful and functional basket/work of art.

Date: Sunday 28 August 2016

Time: 1.00PM to 4.00PM

Cost: $55 per person, includes all materials


Linden New Art

26 Acland Street

St Kilda Victoria 3182

tel: (03) 9534 0099

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