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Artist Biography

1973

Dennis Nona is one the most important Indigenous artists from the Torres Strait Islands with his expansive linocut prints demanding attention. Born on Badu Island in 1973, Nona was taught the traditional craft of woodcarving as a young boy. He refined his carving skills with linocuts, etchings and sculptures and it is through these mediums that he documents ancient Torres Strait stories in a visual form. Key to his storytelling is stringing together a series of images bound with patterning to form a whole narrative.

This is unlike traditional Torres Strait Islander art which is more akin to mainland Aboriginal artists. Nona’s worldliness has led to success both at home and overseas. His work is regarded for its role in regenerating cultural knowledge, practices and language. The patterns, designs and bold imagery in his art are an important device for passing on wisdom that would otherwise rely on the oral tradition and dance. Nona is represented in the Aboriginal art collections of most major Australian art institutions and in several important overseas collections.