Many Torres Strait Islanders are accomplished carvers. This is a legacy that goes back many hundreds of years when masks and other ceremonial regalia, canoe hulls and prows, drums, weapons, household utensils, objects of personal adornment and toys were all carved and incised with the minaral or patterning that is unique to the Torres Strait Islands.
Job Kusu is one of the foremost living exponents of this traditional craft. He only uses materials sourced on Badu Island where he lives and works. His sculptures are made from Thul, Warup and Wongai woods, which are extremely hard and dense and difficult to carve. These iron like woods are very durable and also liked by the artist because when finished with a specially prepared coconut oil the wood darkens and reflects light enhancing the form of the sculpture. Other traditional hand made materials used by Job in his creations include bees’ wax (esau), bush rope (uru), pearl shell and mangrove sap.
Kusu is renowned for his carvings of dugong, turtle, crayfish, other sea creatures and items associated with traditional island life. His works reflect his intimate knowledge, love and respect of his environment and culture.
Job was born on Saibai Island which 8 kilometres from the Papuan New Guinea coastline and north of his Island of Badu.