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

Darnley Island with Dari Warrior Headdress and Torres Strait


  • Description
  • Additional information


As the title suggests, the work depicts imagery relating to the artist’s island of Erub (Darnley) that has not been shown before by Thaiday or any other artist from the region.
The two Daris, which are major elements of the work, are titled, Torres Strait Fishtrap Warrior Headdress (the red Dari) and Torres Strait Land and Sea Fishtrap Dari Headdress (the green Dari). The two Daris have been hidden in the waters surrounding Erub up until now.
Both Daris move from the horizontal position, where they been secreted under the waters, to the vertical position where they are now revealed.
The two Daris slide on tracks which simulates the illusion of objects moving when reflected in the ripples of the water.
The central element is a plume of spray that represents the crashing of the waves against the walls of the fishtraps. This plume of spray sits on a spring that when compressed and then released, simulates the explosion of the waves hitting the walls of the fishtraps and the spray rising high above the surface of the water then cascading back to the sea.
Names are not usually associated with Daris but the artist has pioneered this practice by bring new meaning to the traditional Dari. The cut out shapes of the fishtraps, the beading that represents the rocks, the incorporation of the frigate bird and the feathers representing the fish are a contemporary expression of the tradional Dari.
Ken Thiaday is unique in his contemporary expression of traditional Torres Strait Islander culture by opening new and inventive ways of viewing their legends, ceremonies, headdresses and other dance regalia and everyday life and objects.

1) the spray plume emanates from a white PVC tube that contains a spring which when compressed (with a nylon pull tie) then released it erupts depicting the spray of the sea hitting the stones of the fish trap walls.
2) light blue merging into dark blue (curved cane) depicting the more solid part of the spray plume
3) the descending spray and water droplets from the plume is depicted by white and silver beads that are threaded on to nylon line that have been inserted in to the cane plumes.
4) outside and surrounding the PVC pipe are two clusters of white cane and threaded beads depicting the denser but lower part of the spray plume.
5) The Erub Island terrain is depicted in the predominately green.

Additional information


plywood, wood, feathers, beads, cane, PVC, nylon line, metal spring, screws, hinges, tracking, acrylic paint


Ken Thaiday


1520mm x 1400mm x 2670mm




Canopy Artspace, Cairns QLD




Torres Strait Islands