by This Island Life in New Art on Tuesday 24 July 2012

The Biennale of Sydney is once again in full swing at some of the best art spaces around town, showcasing the work of Australia’s most thought-provoking artists, such as John Wolseley and Tim Johnson. A stand out for me is the work of Alick Tipoti, whose exhibition, Girelal, is currently showing at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA).

This Cairns-based printmaker of Torres Strait Islander heritage creates breathtakingly beautiful linocut prints that re-tell the spiritual, oral narratives of his people – the Maluyligal- who have a very profound relationship with their marine environment and ancestral traditions. Tipoti believes that ‘song, dance and the visual arts all evolve from the centrepiece of language’ and that it is his spiritual duty to help revive and keep alive Torres Strait Islander traditions and language. In Girelal, which means ‘dances’, Tipoti re-interprets and expresses these cultural traditions imaginatively through performances of spiritual Maluyligal chants that he has composed and choreographed to compliment his print work. So if you are like me and crave feel-good experiences, don’t miss the 18th Biennale of Sydney before it closes on September 16, especially the uplifting work of Alick Tipoti. Best of all, it’s totally free.