Badhulgaw Kuthinaw Mudh

Torres Strait Islander Art from Badu Island
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Home / Artists / Gehmat Nona

Gehmat Nona

10 January 1987

One of the 'next generation' of Badu Artists, Gehmat Nona is a superb carver. Accomplished, sought after and collected by interstate patrons and galleries his work is refined and mature. Gehmat is a thoughtful artist and frequently spends hour after long hour to resolve some of the creative challenges his work produces.

He carves coconut shell and inlays it with shell. His 'stand alone' shell carvings intricate and bold - again demionstrating masterful levels of skill with this difficult medium. Gehmats vinyl work has a strong simplicity and always draws from Island life - and his careful use of design frequently marries seemingly disparate creatures - a goanna becomes a sting-ray, a hammerhead shark becomes a skate and in another squid become marlin, and marlin become squid - describing how the marlin feast on the squid out in Torres Strait and the life cycles continue over and over across time.

Carving seems to be an innate skill for Gehmat, and like some other Badu Artists he seems most comfortable when he is sitting carving, singularly focused on bringing the object to life, a process he has called 'setting free'. 

Gehmats work describes a deep cultural connection, sometimes savage. His 'Watti Farr' warrior mask depicts the last thing a murdered warrior would see before having his head cracked open - the terrifying fighting mask of his killer. The print - however, and despite that subject - is a superb representation of his skill and the power and impact of the artists chosen materials - Arches BFK paper, jet black ink and vinyl floor covering.