This is a trial proof of an etching plate that was later editioned in another state. As such it is unique and eminently collectable.
This print is split into three parts to explain how coconut oil is naturally processed in the Torres Strait islands. The large pool of oil at the top has risen from the coconut milk after it has been cooked in the shell with the meat of the fruit. The quantity of oil that can be extracted depends on the moon and the tides. An old man usually sends the kids down to the reef to check the tide and, when it begins to rise, it’s time to make coconut oil. The waves at the bottom of the print show that the tide is rising. A full moon means the conditions are right. The moon’s symbol is repeated at different points in the image. The spirits rising from the water at the centre of the image show the tension between the moon and the incoming tide. They bring the different parts of the story together. The tusche finish brings the different visual aspects together. Medicine plants are mixed with coconut oil to cure sickness. Coconut oil is also used in daily life to add shine to the hair.