Learning to carve it up
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