Badhulgaw Kuthinaw Mudh

Torres Strait Islander Art from Badu Island
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weldon matasia badu art centre

Weldon Matasia

23 March 1986

Weldon Matasia is one of the 'next generation' of artists from Badu. Quiet and disciplined - Weldon has been known to sit for days on Gaubuth and the front beach, individually selecting shells to ensure that his painstakingly handcrafted necklaces achieve the symmetry and fine balance he feels important to his work.

Weldon also refuses to even semi automate any process that would help increase the speed of his drilling of those shells or the seeds he carefully gathers in the Badu Island bush. Once again - just as he gathers the shells, each is selcted, individually drilled, washed and polished and to watch him each day is to appreciate the comfort of the rhythm he creates - select, drill, wash, polish, wash and place on the table for grading and then use.

The result is that Weldon makes some of the finest 100% Badu Jewellery available. We rarely have enough stock of his superb necklaces to place on this site, as they usually sell to local Badu people - who understand their value and wear them on special or ceremonial occasions. Fortunately Weldon is also a highly accomplished carver and we usually have editions of his work available.

His work shows an emerging visual language that is unique to this fine young artist. His development and use of curves with interceding radial lines have their origins in Weldon looking over the edge of his boat into the depths of the water, and watching the sunlight make patterns across the ocean floor.

Their use - like the way he creates a mantra like process in the construction of jewellery - produces a hypnotic effect, creating a vehicle for both the abstraction of his imagery and the reconnection of it back to its source material. Those patterns can be seen (and felt) all over Badu on every beach and in every way his relief work is truly magnificent.