Alick Tipoti

Alick Tipoti is a Torres Strait Islander who is guided by the traditional cultural practices of his people. He believes in the Zugubal who were spoken about for many years by his ancestors. He is most diligent about what he sees as his responsibility to document the stories, genealogies, songs and other aspects of his culture so that it is available for future generations to learn, understand and practice.

He speaks his native language, Kala Lagaw Ya of the Maluilgal nation of Zenadh Kes. Alick believes that language is the vital ingredient that binds all cultures in the world today. ‘Without your language you become a foreigner, lost in another persons culture. One of my favourite English word is analyse. In my language we call it Ses Tham or Thapul. Singing and dancing are forms of art that branch out from the centrepiece called language. Everything you do, traditionally or culturally, evolves from a language. When you know the language, you know your culture.’

Alick has researched the genealogy of Zenadh Kes. He says that when you practice something about your culture, it is important to know your roots and your identity as this will help you choose your path in life.

He has been given the traditional name of ZUGUB which enables him to relate to the spirits of his ancestors, the ZUGUBAL. This provides him the insight and ability to translate the words of these ancestors into the beautifully delicate and complex imagery of his linocuts. ‘When I work late at night carving traditional designs, I can sense the presence of the spirits who I verbally acknowledge and thank in language for their guidance and help in visualising the words they have given me. I vividly remember an unusual event late one evening where I was guided to resketch and change the interperation of a block I was about to carve. This was just one of the many occasions when I have connected with the Zugubal who have instructed me on the proper ways of our cultural traditions.’

“In my life I have come to a level of understanding that I pray to the Zugubal of my culture”

The artist holds an Advance Diploma in Arts, Thursday Island TAFE College and a Batchelor of Visual Arts, Australian National University, Canberra.

Copyright The Australian Art Print Network
Subject & Themes
Melanesian influence. The artist’s linocuts, derive from his wood-carving experiences on Badu Island. He is inspired by coastal life, family, traditional plants and medicines, the constellations and the myths and legends of the Torres Strait.
Collections
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth WA
Arts Centre, Melbourne Vic.
Australian Embassy, Lisbon Portugal
Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney NSW
ATSIC, Canberra
Australian Museum, Sydney
Belau National Museum. Republic of Palau
British Museum, London UK
Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns QLD
Cambridge University Museum, UK
Canberra School of Arts, Australian National University
Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Surfers Paradise
Griffith University, Brisbane
The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Vic.
Tjibaou Cultural Centre, Noumea, New Caledonia
Kluge Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, University of Virginia. Charlottesville USA
Melbourne City Art Council
Musée des Confluences, Lyon, France
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
National Museum of Australia, Canberra
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
Torres Strait Regional Authority, Thursday Island
Parliament House, Canberra
Parliament House New Zealand, Wellington
Individual Exhibitions
2020 – 2022 Mariw Minaral (Spititual Patterns), Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney NSW
2016 Lagangu, Linden New Art, Melbourne VIC
2015 Alick Tipoti Zugubal: Ancestral Spirits, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns Qld.
2012 Badhulayg – Person of Badu, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2011 Mawa Adhaz Pa’ar – Sorcerer Masks, Australian Art Network Galleries at Canopy Artspace, Cairns Qld.
2009 Malangu – From the Sea. Framed Gallery, Darwin NT
2008 Malangu – From the Sea. Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne VIC; Impressions on Paper Gallery, Canberra ACT; SoMA Galleries, Adelaide SA; Art Mob, Hobart TAS; United Galleries Sydney NSW; Arts d’Australie, Paris France; Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London UK
2007 Malangu – From the Sea. Andrew Baker Art Dealer, Brisbane QLD
Group Exhibitions
2021 Warwar, Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle NSW
2021 MCA Collection: Perspectives on Place, MCA Sydney
2021 The National 2021 New Australian Art, AGNSW, Sydney
2020-2021 Connected:MCA Collection, MCA Sydney
2019 Queen’s Land: Blak Portraiture Late 19th Century to the Present, Cairns Art Gallery, QLD
2017 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home, Artspace Mackay, QLD
2017 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home, Perc Tucker Regional Art Gallery, QLD
2017 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home, Redland Art Gallery, QLD
2017 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home, Redcliffe City Art Gallery, QLD
2016 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home, Rockhampton Art Gallery, QLD
2016 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home, Logan Art Gallery, QLD
2016 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home, Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum, QLD
2016 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, QLD
2016 Australia: Defending the Oceans at the Heart of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Art, Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, Monaco
2016 Saltwater Country, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, VIC
2016 Saltwater Country, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide SA
2016 Saltwater Country, Bunbury Regional Art Galleries, WA
2016 Saltwater Country, Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo NSW
2016 Saltwater Country, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, NSW
2015 Indigenous Australia:Enduring Civilisation, British Museum, London UK
2015 Saltwater Country AAMU: Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Utrecht, The Netherlands
2015 Saltwater Country, Manly Art Gallery and Museum, NSW
2015 Saltwater Country, Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum, QLD
2015 Saltwater Country, Cairns Regional Gallery, QLD
2015 Saltwater Country, Grafton Regional Art Gallery, NSW
2014/2015 Saltwater Country, Australian Embassy Washington DC USA
2014 Arts d’Australie, Arts d’Australie • Stephane Jacob / Barclays, Paris, France
2014 Saltwater Country, The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise
2014 Lag Meta Aus Home in the Torres Strait, National Museum of Australia, Canberra
2014 31st National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
2013 Parcours des Mondes, Arts d’Australie • Stephane Jacob, Paris, France
2013 Art Elysées, Arts d’Australie • Stephane Jacob, Paris, France
2013 Under the Sun: the Kate Challis RAKA Award 2013, Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, Melbourne Vic.
2013 Zenadh Kes – Art from the Torres Strait, Japingka Gallery Fremantle WA
2013 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home. Contemporary Art from Black Australia. GOMA, Brisbane Qld
2013 Performative Prints from the Torres Strait, Arts Centre, Melbourne
2013 Printmakers from the Torres Strait Islands, Metropolis Gallery, Geelong Vic
2013 Malu Minar (Sea Pattern) Art of the Torres Strait, Te Manawa Art Gallery, Palmerston North NZ
2012 Badu Brilliance, Art Mob Hobart
2012 Malu Minar (Sea Pattern) Art of the Torres Strait, Pataka Museum and Gallery, Porirua City NZ
2012 Malu Minar (Sea Pattern) Art of the Torres Strait, The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatu Art Gallery Nelson NZ
2012 Biennale of Sydney, All our Relations. Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
2012 UnDisclosed: 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia
2011 Malu Minar (Sea Pattern) Art of the Torres Strait, Southland Museum and Gallery, Invercargill NZ
2011 Land, Sea and Sky: Contemporary Art of the Torres Strait Islands, Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane
2011 Malu Minar (Sea Pattern) Art of the Torres Strait, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns
2010 27th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
2010 Malu Minar (Sea Pattern) Art of the Torres Strait, Tjibaou Cultural Centre, New Caledonia
2010 Contemporary Encounters: A selection of works from the Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists, National Gallery of Victoria
2009 Clin d’oeil à l’Art Aborigène d’Australie, Arts d’Australie • Stephane Jacob / Cinéma du Panthéon, Paris, France
2009 Regards Croisés : Australie – France, œuvres sur papier et sculptures, Espace Beaurepaire / Arts d’Australie • Stephane Jacob, Paris, France
2009 Gaigai Ika Woeybadh Yatharewmka – Legends Through Patterns from the Past, Robert Steele Gallery, New York USA
2008 Estampes contemporaines : regard prospectiff 2, Galerie Christian Collin, Paris, France
2008 Estampes contemporaines : regard prospectif II, galerie Arts d’Australie • Stephane Jacob, Chinon, France
2008 Estampes contemporaines : regard prospectif II, Arts d’Australie • Stephane Jacob, Paris, France
2008 Western Australian Indigenous Art Award, Perth
2008 25th National Aboriginal &Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
2008 Gab Titui Indigenous Art Award, Thursday Island
2008 Silk Cut Award for Lino Prints, Glen Eira City Council Gallery, Melbourne
2007 24th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
2004 9th Pacific Arts Festival, Belau National Museum, Palau.
2004 Out of Country, Kluge Ruhe Aboriginal Art Museum, University of Virginia, Charlottesville USA.
2003 GROSSE KUNST Dusseldorf, Germany.
2003 20th TELSTRA National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin,
2002 Islands in the Sun, Papua New Guinea Museum and Art Gallery, Port Moresby, PNG
2001 Islands in the Sun, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
2001 Showing Off, Kick Arts, Cairns
2001 26th Annual Shell Fremantle Print Award. Fremantle WA.
2000 Lagaw Adthil, Cairns Regional Gallery
2000 Islands in the Sun, Cairns Regional Gallery
2000 Fortitude, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
2000 Inheriting Culture, Hogarth Art Galleries, Sydney..
1998 Canberra School of Art Graduates Exhibition, Canberra
1998 Ilan Pasin this is our way, Cairns Regional Gallery
1998 Wake Naima – Creating Together, Tjibaou Cultural Centre, Noumea New Caledonia
1998 4th National Indigenous Heritage Commission Awards, Old Parliament House, Canberra
1996 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Festival, Melville Hall, Australian National University, Canberra
1995 Old Parliament House by the National Museum of Australia.
1995 Jabal Centre for ATSI students, Canberra School of Art Australian National University.
1995 Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns
1994 Cairns Pacific International Hotel, Cairns
1994 Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane.
1993 Gold Coast City Art Gallery Acquisition Awards, Surfers Paradise
1993 Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville
1993 Umbrella Studio, Townsville
1993 Pimlico TAFE, Townsville
1992 Thursday Island TAFE, Thursday Island
Awards
2014 31st National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, 3D Category, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
2012 NAIDOC Awards. Torres Strait Artist of the Year
2012 Deadly Awards Visual Artist of the Year Finalist
2011 British Council’s ‘Accelerate’, Indigenous Leadership Award
2009 NAIDOC Awards. Torres Strait Senior Cultural Award
2008 Fremantle National Print Award, Fremantle WA
2008 Silk Cut Award for Lino Prints. Overall Winner
2008 Gab Titui Indigenous Art Award. Overall Winner
2008 25th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award. People’s Choice Award
2007 Works on Paper, 24th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award
2003 Works on Paper, 20th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award
2001 Shell Fremantle Print Award
1999 NAIDOC Awards. Torres Strait Senior Cultural Award
1998 Lin Onus Youth Prize, 4th. National Indigenous Heritage Art Award
1997 Australian Capital Territory Scholar of the Year
1993 Art Student of the Year, Townsville Pimilico TAFE College
Commissions
2017 Badu Gili. Animated video Opera House sails
2013 Guthathaw Ulakal – Dugongs, Thursday Island Chronic Disease Centre, Thursday Island.
2011 Mural ‘Kaygasiw Usul’ (54 metres x 8 metres) Land, Sea and Sky: Contemporary Art of the Torres Strait Islands exhibition, Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane
2010 Cairns Domestic Airport Arrivals Hall Floor Design
2010 Tilt Train Brisbane to Cairns (120 metres – 9 carriages)
Swatch watch design
Workshops & Performances
2015 Alick Tipoti Zugubal: Ancestral Spirits, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns Qld.
2015 Dance Performance, Indigenous Australia enduring civilisation, British Museum, London UK
2011 Mawa Adhaz Pa’ar – Sorcerer Masks, Australian Art Network Galleries at Canopy Artspace, Cairns Qld.
2011 Dance Performance. Zugubal Sagulaw Buway (Zugubal Dance Team) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra ACT
2011 Dance Performance. National Museum of Australia, Canberra ACT
2011 Dance Performance. Australian Institute of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra ACT
2011 Dance Performance. Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Camberra ACT
Committee: Gab Titui Cultural Centre Steering Committee
Committee: Maluyligal, Turtle & Dugong, Land & Sea Management
Committee: Mura Badulgal Native Title, Badu Artr Centre
2011 Dance Performance. Department of Human Services, NewCaledonia Dance Festival
Films
Alick Tipoti, Zugub, the mask, the spirits and the stars. Creative Cowboy Films.
The Clouds Have Stories, The Art of the Torres Strait Islands
Mawa Adhaz Parul, Alick Tipoti, Canopy Artspace Cairns
CIAF
Hidden Treasures – BBC Documentary
Torres Strait in Culture
Bibliography
Kuiyku Mabaigal, Magaballa Press 1998
Mura Migi Kazika, Magaballa Press 2000
Islands in the Sun, National Gallery of Australia Exhibition catalogue 2000
Ilan Pasin this is our way, Cairns Regional Gallery exhibition Catalogue
Demozay M., 2001 Gatherings, Contemporary
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art from Queensland Australia
Wilson G., Beneath the Monsoon Visions North of Capricorn
exhibition catalogue, Art Space Mackay, Mackay Qld. 2002
Artlines: Art and People, 1-2007, Queensland Art Gallery
Art Collector Magazine. January – March 2008
Ailan Currents Exhibition Catalogue – Contemporary Printmakers from the Torres Strait, 2007
Gaigai Ika Woeybadh Yatharewmka – Legends Through Patterns from the Past, New York exhibition catalogue 2009
Torres Strait Islands. Queensland Art Gallery/GOMA exhibition catalogue. 2011
Australia Council for the Arts Haddon Project essay
British Museum Torres Strait Islander Photographs essay
Indigenous Law Bulletin September/October 2012 Volume 8/Issue 2
The Museum Three Mar-Aug 2013, New Acquisitions, National Museum of Australia

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