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© Gail Mabo/ Licensed by Viscopy, 2017

Constellation II

Date: 2014
Overall: 585 × 885 mm
Medium: Monoprint inks on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with funds from the Sid Faithfull and Christine Sadler program supporting Contemporary Indigenous Maritime Heritage in Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait Islands through the ANM Foundation
Object Copyright: © Gail Mabo
Object Name: Monoprint
Object No: 00054383

User Terms

    A coloured monoprint on paper titled 'Constellation II' by Torres Strait artist Gail Mabo.
    Language Group: Piadram
    Country: Murray Island

    A contemporary print which speaks of an enduring connection to culture and country experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people despite significant change precipitated by European colonisation. There are 3 main elements incorporated within the print: the swirling star constellation, the ancestral spirit figures before the coming of the boats, and the boats which represent the occupation
    SignificanceThis work by Gail Mabo investigates colonial narrative in a contemporary context through the eyes of Torres Strait Islanders.
    History"This work expresses what will always be and what always was, no matter what changes come to us. European occupation did not change the spiritual foundation of country. To narrate this truth, I have incorporated three main elements: the swirling star constellation, the ancestral spirit figures before the coming of the boats, and the boats which represent the occupation. The ghost ships were guided to Australia by the constellations in the night sky. My ancestors navigated and lived life with a deep understanding and respect for these same constellations. The swirling stars in the night sky will continue to guide my ancestors and my people for eternity. " - Gail Mabo, East Coast Encounters Exhibition.

    Gail Mabo was part of 'East Coast Encounter'project, a multi-arts initiative involving Australian Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists, writers and songwriters to re-imagine the encounter by Lt James Cook and his crew with Aboriginal people in 1770. Cook's voyage along the Australian east coast has become central to national historical narratives.
    Artists re-envisaged this seminal journey by imaginatively exploring moments of contact between two world views during these encounters. To brings these events into the present by incorporating personal reflections on their relevance today, and their responses to visits to significant contact locations.

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