Badhulgaw Kuthinaw Mudh

Torres Strait Islander Art from Badu Island
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Home / Artists / MICHAEL NONA


6 July 1991

Curently the youngest full time artist on Badu, Michael Nona is one of the most expressive and lyrical draftsmen and one of its most accomplished carvers. Michaels work is strong, clear and ambitious and at times to produce and edition his images we have needed to sheet paper from large oversize rolls to meet the extended dimensions of his work.

Size is not the key issue - but scale is an important contributor to the overall impressiveness of Michaels work. His work has been featured in a number of interstate exhibitions and gallery based art competitions from which he has received honory mentions in the final round selections.

Michaels work is not constrained to works on paper and he is a beautiful carver - and creates works of great presence - all drawn from nature and in particular the ocean. Using his preferred Milk Wood (sourced locally) Michael shapes and hand carves his work, frequently creating embellishment with carved pearl shell and inlaying that into the work.

Carving Pearl shell represents many challenges - some being health and safety related (OH&S) as the grinding and carving of the shell body can be quite hazardous. The hard to shape shell can also fracture and break, and the complex shapes, curves and symbols Michael chooses to use is very challenging and requires considerable patience.

A further attribute of Michaels work is his relationship with his elder grandmother - who sits and tells him stories about "Islan Kustom" - (island custom) and its these stories that are not only important to the unique and beautiful nature of the artwork - but also to Michaels own development as an artist and the integrity of his source material.

To own a Michael Nona image is to have a unique and beautiful piece of Badu history, Badu culture and traditional Torres Strait life.