Badhulgaw Kuthinaw Mudh

Torres Strait Islander Art from Badu Island
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Home / Artists / Edmund Laza

Closer examination reveals Ral is a master illusionist, who hides shapes within shapes and other objects within the contours and lines of his work.

— Edmund Laza

Edmund Laza

19 June 1986

One of Badu Islands most colourful and energised artists is Edmund 'Ral' Laza. Frequently one of the islands most sought after artists, Ral creates images that depict his family, ocean fish and the myths and stories that form Badu culture. 

Employing a more intense, compacted style of carving his work is always ambitious, individual and 'from a different place' than his workmates and peers.

Ral's work frequently moves away from the use of repeated 'mantra like' symbols that together form an overall pattern and story and is instead a more organic arrangement where large areas of his prints are filled with seemingly random shapes. 

Closer examination reveals Ral is a master illusionist, who hides shapes within shapes and other objects within the contours and lines of his work. Sometimes there are 5 or 6 symbols within an overall design  - representing how integrated seemingly different forms of Badu Island life can be. Different images are seen at different distances from the artwork and often images reveal themselves over time and certainly not all in the first or subsequent views. 

A wonderfully accomplished artist, Ral has featured in many aquisitive exhibitions, and received judges commendation at the elite Waterhouse Awards in South Australia with his print Azamul - a large format image depicting a school of Azum fish.

Rals work is exciting, unpredictable and wonderful and provides a rarified view into a unique artists world in a unique and wonderful part of Australia - and the greater world.