Aboriginal Art and Torres Strait Islander Art - Limited Edition Prints, Paintings, Sculptures and Books

Clapper Marup – Butterfly, Hammerhead Shark and Water


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The increasingly ingenious methods Thaiday employs to construct his dance masks and handheld dance machines have developed in response to the larger forum of public dance in Cairns, in contrast to the more private islander community. The social status generated by the creation of a new and eye-catching mask has always been a competitive impetus among islander artisans. As his art practice developed Thaiday employed new lightweight materials such as plastic piping, plywood, twine and bright enamel paint, skillfully incorporating these in to the design and mechanisms for moving parts that operate in tune with dance choreography, such as the opening jaws of the shark headdress, the flapping wings of a large seabird, the sun moving across a landscape of a handheld dance machine, or through a hole pieced through the pages of a bible. In doing so he has encouraged a new generation of artists within the expatriate islander community that has coalesced around Cairns in far north Queensland.

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Ken Thaiday


feathers, pvc piping, wire, steel, enamel paint


September 2009


350mm x 750mm x 560mm


Canopy Artspace, Cairns




Torres Strait Islands