The documentary Zugub, the Mask, the Spirits and the Stars takes us on a journey into the mind, heart and eye of artist Alick Tipoti, a member of the Maluyligal people of Zenadth Kes. A powerful interpreter of his culture, in this film Alick leads a journey through his creative life as printmaker, mask maker, songster and choreographer.
In this documentary, Alick Tipoti describes his culture in his voice, recalling the legends of his land through music and dance and art making. We travel to his home island of Badu in the Torres Strait.
A leader in the resurgence of Torres Strait culture, Alick is the first Torres Strait artist to have been selected to exhibit at the Biennale of Sydney (2012).
Alick takes with him on his artistic journey the recognition and blessing of elders from the Torres Strait Islands that enable the artist, through his artistic ability and cultural knowledge, to produce his contemporary versions of the art of the Torres Strait.
As well as carving intricate and traditional Torres Strait Island Melanesian designs into linoleum and vinyl blocks for the creation of prints on paper, Alick also constructs modern versions of customary Mawa masks. Traditionally Mawa masks, worn by descendants of Ay Waii of Badu Island in powerful ceremonial performances, these masks were created from the shells of Hawksbill turtles.
Alick's contemporary creations are innovative both in variation from traditional style and use of fibreglass to replicate turtle carapace. With a backdrop of heavenly island landscapes, the film goer visits Alick's home community Wakaydh Mudhawlag (Wakaydh Village) on Badu Island. At the Badhulgaw Kuthinaw Mudh (Badu Island Art Centre) local artists create linocut prints, setting the atmosphere for Alick to explain why it is vitally important to guard the knowledge and protocols of the extraordinary and intricate culture of the Torres Strait Islands.
Running time: 70 mins
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