Meriam Mir Dauareb People
Born 1942, Dauar, Torres Strait Islands, Australia
Lives and works on Mer (Murray) Island
Segar Passi is an important Meriam elder who developed as a painter during the 1960s, meticulously observing marine and bird species, weather conditions, and painting portraits, images of daily life, and scenes from Creation narratives. Drawn to painting from a young age, Passi chose this medium over the carving and performance traditions of his Meriam people. His recent works have focused on the natural world to encourage people to be mindful and respectful of their environment, and to record important social and cultural practices and knowledge. Dauar 2014–15 and Waier 2015 are named after the volcanic islands off the coast of Mer and detail the islands' natural features and geological history. Passi's power of observation references the physical features of the islands and their history of geological evolution. The paintings are the first visual forms recording this traditional knowledge. They speak of a profound and culturally embedded knowledge of place, with ancestral links to the ancient volcanic landscapes of Papua New Guinea.
Segar Passi / Meriam Mir Dauareb people / Australia b.1942 / Dauar 2014–15 and Waier 2015, installed for APT8 in GOMA's Gallery 1.3, 2015 / Synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen / 140 x 140cm / Purchased 2015 with funds from Anne Best through the QAGOMA Foundation / © Segar Passi
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THE 8TH ASIA PACIFIC TRIENNIAL (APT8)
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