Cairns QLD, Australia
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Thu 11 July 2024 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 9:00 am on Saturday, repeating until Sun August 4, 2024

An event every week that begins at 10:00 am on Sunday, repeating until Sun August 4, 2024

An event every week that begins at 9:00 am on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, repeating until Sun August 25, 2024

An event every week that begins at 10:00 am on Sunday and Saturday, repeating until Sun August 25, 2024

Cairns Art Gallery

Tommy Pau – Ilan Oman Exhibition at Cairns Art Gallery

Tommy Pau is of the Samsep tribe of Erub in the Torres Strait. A printmaker, painter, educator and home tailor with an interest in fashion and textiles, Tommy’s bloodline stems from cultural heritages that includes the Meriam of Erub, Australian Aboriginal, Papua New Guinean, Pacific Islander and Chinese. Torres Strait cultural practices and values were instilled in him from an early age through his father, Ettie Pau (OAM), as well as other members of his family and the Community.


Tommy has an unwavering commitment to keeping old traditions alive and believes Culture must remain true to the past, while also adapting to the current social climate in order for it to exist into the future.


Ilan Oman explores themes of ilan pasin – island way – how life was and still is practised in the Torres Strait, particularly through the matriarchal line. On an island surrounded by water, law and order are essential for mutual relationships and co-existence. Women in Torres Strait society held a dominant space within society’s hierarchical structure.


Works in the exhibition highlight the female tradition of body adornment with Kowsadh sol, blooming flower textiles, that were fashioned into Au Gem Wali or big body clothes. This theme intertwines with domestic settings, oral narratives, historical events and practices that are traditional in nature but contemporary in their execution.


Ilan Oman comprises monochromatic and hand-coloured linocuts, exquisitely carved and referencing traditional myths and legends, as well as the artist’s personal anecdotes and experiences. Through these works Tommy retells and reframes Torres Strait Islander culture from the points of view of his grandmother, mother, aunties, sisters, and in-laws.


– Text by Brian Robinson, Consultant Curator


This exhibition has been supported through a Cairns RSL Club Artist Fellowship Award.


Exhibition Runs: 25th May – 25th August 2024


Entry: Free Entry


For more information please visit the Cairns Art Gallery website.


Please check directly with the Cairns Art Gallery for opening hours on Public Holidays.


IMAGE: Robert (Tommy) PAU, Born 1967, Kowsadh sol (Red) 2023, vinylcut print on paper, 148 x 76 cm, Printer: Theo Tremblay , Courtesy of the artist.



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Thu 11 July 2024
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Cairns Art Gallery
+61 7 4046 4800
View Organiser Website


Cairns Art Gallery
40 Abbott St
Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
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+61 7 4046 4800
View Venue Website