Martin Morububuna and Purago Marabe completed their one-month-long residency in the Kimball Artist Studio on November 1, 2009.
Martin created a vibrant mural showing Papua New Guinea as a panoramic collective of plants, animals, houses, boats, people and their bilas. Bilas is a word in Melanesian Tok Pisin that refers to the array of headdresses, necklaces, belts, armbands, and aprons that people use to adorn themselves for dance and ceremony. The mural expresses Martin’s wish for all people to honor the past and keep traditional values strong.
Simultaneously, Martin worked on some partly finished canvases that he brought with him from Port Moresby. These canvases might make another appearance in Victoria, British Columbia at the Alcheringa Gallery where Martin’s work will be included in Hailans to Ailans.
The big one; the village carved and standing.
On stilts, atop your own ocean.
For fish and children to indulge
Only the plastic factories refuge, dynamites and household debri scare them.
You are comfortable but allow industrial and political power brokers to take your ocean view
But your playground remains after the sun sets.
And your dreams of modernity surrenders to industrialization
promptly casting doubts on your neediness
your expectations evade your sanity
like your own discards; you let go, your land
leaving the nest of your children to the sharks and preying eagles.
For your children; it will be skyscrapers over waters
Forever moving and shaking.
And there’ll be many tongues and dissentment
And if the fish is not enough and plentiful
Your prayers will be long and half-said
Your survival will be under trees and on roads
in the eyes of the scorching sun
and the ocean will be barren and bare.
During his final week in the Kimball Artist Studio, Purago collaborated with Michael Mel to integrate two paintings and poems into Mel’s Friday night performance, KAM LONG MI – OPIM AI NA IAU (Come to me – open your eyes and ears). Visiting filmmaker, Mark Eby of Azbri Productions, conducted a film editing workshop with Purago using footage from his village in the Easthern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea.
KAM LONG MI – OPIM AI NA IAU (Come to me – open your eyes and ears)
Two films by
Mark Eby, “The Shield is My Brother” and “The Man Who Would Not Die” created especially for the Jolika Collection, made their premier.
Film still from “The Man Who Would Not Die” showing Kaipel Ka and a freshly painted “Phantom” shield.