Dennis Nona is widely acknowledged as one the most important Torres Strait Islander artists. Born on Badu Island in 1973 he was taught as a young boy the traditional craft of woodcarving. In 2007, he became the youngest Australian artist and first Torres Strait Islander to win the 1st prize of the prestigious Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. In 2008, in 2010 and again in 2011, Dennis received the Telstra Works on Paper Award.
Nona pioneered the development of the highly intricate linocut prints unique to the Torres Strait Islands. Instead of a work based on a single image like that of the traditional Torres Strait Islander art, he introduced many. In this way he could relate an entire narrative in one single work. Since this breakthrough, the imagery created by printmakers like Nona, have given local culture a vital reinvigoration. Today they are central to a cultural revival and elders now refer to them to help them to relate ancient stories to others.
Nona often works on a monumental scale. This enables him to visually translate some of the long and complex legends of his island in intricate details. Now he is working a bronze and pearlshell project for the new Musée des Confluences in Lyon, monumental sculpture that will measure 6 meters high and 8.5 meters long.
His skill and constant innovation have resulted in works of great beauty and complexity. This is why it is seen in depth in Australia’s National Gallery, all the State Galleries, and in a growing number of important overseas institutions such as the Victoria & Albert Museum (London) the Tjibaou Cultural Center (Nouméa), the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (Rochefort) and the Musée des Confluences (Lyon).
Dennis's engravings are being exhibited in Switzerland. Visit exhibition's webpage