Learn­ing to carve it up

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

YALANJI artists in­ter­ested in learn­ing and im­prov­ing in the art of wood carv­ing and paint­ing are in­vited to the Wood Shed at the Moss­man Gorge Com­mu­nity.

Un­der the skilled su­per­vi­sion of Kel Wil­liams, an ex­pe­ri­enced teacher and wood crafts­man, Jef­frey Kerr and Demilio Den­man are learn­ing tech­niques for mak­ing boomerangs, clap sticks and low re­lief carv­ings us­ing re­cy­cled rain­for­est tim­ber from the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment.

Demilio Den­man started with Yalanji Arts 12 months ago and af­ter carv­ing a highly ac­claimed tur­tle from quan­dong and mango wood for the Cairns In­dige­nous Art Fair, he has just com­pleted a sec­ond piece al­ready sold to a pri­vate col­lec­tor.

Jef­frey Kerr’s set of three fly­ing foxes sold within hours of t he event open­ing and at­tracted two new com­mis­sions and over the past three months Mr Kerr has carved and painted six tra­di­tional Yalanji shields, which will soon be on show at the Moss­man Gorge Cen­tre.

The artists make th­ese pieces from start to fin­ish us­ing rain­for­est tim­ber from trees that have al­ready fallen in the for­est, or been re­moved to make way for build­ing pro- jects.

Be­com­ing a skilled wood carver takes a lot of pa­tience and hard work, how­ever Yalanji Arts are con­tin­u­ing to work with lo­cal Yalanji mem­bers to pass the skills on to fam­ily mem­bers or to help de­velop their own small busi­ness through their art.

The team at Yalanji Arts

- Moss­man Gorge is keen to hear from other men and women within the Moss­man Yalanji com­mu­nity who would like to take part at the Wood Shed and learn the prac­ti­cal and cre­ative wood carv­ing and paint­ing skills. Ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est from wood carvers can be made by con­tact­ing Tah­nee Thor­burn on 4098 1305.

GET­TING CRE­ATIVE: Jef­frey Kerr, Demilio Den­man and Kel Wil­liams

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