Mary Kaigey <br/>
Australia born 1954<br/>
Rita Lui <br/>
Australia born 1949<br/>
Helen Mabo <br/>
Australia born 1950<br/>
Garee Kaigey <br/>
Australia born 1941<br/>
Helen Dick <br/>
Australia born 1956<br/>
Delina Noah <br/>
Australia born 1964<br/>
Beverley Mabo <br/>
Australia born 1959<br/>
Segar Passi <br/>
born 1942<br/>
<em>Messiah Luzab Lera Kaubo Arsir II</em> (<em>The whole island of Mer, making things, making lei II</em>) 2017<br/>
synthetic polymer paint on canvas, synthetic thread, synthetic wadding, synthetic fabric, wing seeds, shells, plastic, synthetic ribbon, copper, painted copper, painted metal, wood, nylon cord, painted plastic, coral, kulap seeds, steel, wongai seeds<br/>
155.0 x 95.0 x 10.5 cm (variable)<br/>
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br/>
Purchased, Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists, 2018 (2018.26)<br/>
© the artists. Photo: Michael Marzik
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Mary Kaigey 
Australia born 1954
Media Release • 27 Jun 17

Lei it on opens at Cairns Art Gallery

Lei it on, a collection of contemporary lei and body adornment made by communities in the Torres Strait Islands will be on display at Cairns Art Gallery (CAG), opening 24 June.

Exploring the lei as an inherent symbol of identity and cultural meaning, this co-curated CAG and National Gallery of Victoria exhibition will present over forty unique artworks.

From large scale sculptural lei to intimate and delicate wearable pieces, the works have been created by Torres Strait Islander communities in workshops run by CAG and the NGV on Thursday Island, Saibai Island, Erub (Darnley Island), Mer (Murray Island), Mua (Moa Island) and Badu in early 2017.

Supported by the Gab Titui Cultural Centre, the workshops focused on creative expression, building meaningful connections with Torres Strait Islander communities and supporting artists in the creation of lei and body adornment for the NGV and CAG permanent collections.

‘The NGV is delighted to be working with CAG and several Torres Strait Island artist communities to support this ambitious collaborative exhibition. Through art making activities, this project has seen a vital exchange of knowledge between artists and curators, creating a deeper understanding of shared culture and identity’, said Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV.

The artists incorporated both customary and contemporary materials including shells, feathers, seeds and plant fibre through to found and recycled objects, promoting cultural identity, contemporary making, collaboration and creative expression.

The exhibition coincides with Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 13-16 July.

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