PAMBEGAN Jr, Arthur Koo-ekka; Flying Fox Story Place
Arthur Koo-ekka Pambegan Jr was an Elder of the Wik-Mungkan people and a highly respected artist from Aurukun on Cape York Peninsula. From the early 2000s, his sculptures and paintings enlivened and restored stories of great cultural significance to the Wik-Mungkan people.
This sculpture was painted with ochres in Pambegan's Winchanam clan design, and refers to the flying fox stories passed to Pambegan by his father in the 1950s and early 1960s. They are examples of how specific topographical features, lessons on the transgression of taboos, ancestral journeys, sibling relationships and protocols can be embedded in oral and dance performance traditions. These stories also relate to stages of initiation and are associated with ceremony. Pambegan's sculptures are some of the very few works associated with these stories to have been produced outside of a ceremonial context. Similar objects were used in the important 1962 performance of sacred dances at Aurukun, filmed by the Australian Commonwealth Film Unit for the Institute of Aboriginal Studies. Flying Fox Story Place was commissioned by the Queensland Art Gallery for the 2003 exhibition 'Story Place: Indigenous Art of Cape York and the Rainforest'. These stories represent a fundamental understanding of country, its animals and its ancestral past.
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