MOA ARTS is an Indigenous owned and operated Art Centre in Kubin Village on Moa Island in the Torres Strait. The Mualgal are proud seafaring people whose stories and legends are written on the winds, the currents, the tides and the seasons. Their traditions are kept alive through song and dance, and through their continually evolving artwork. Many of Moa Arts’ senior artists were pioneers in the print movement in Far North Queensland and Zenadth Kes – the Torres Strait.
Moa Arts’ linoprints, etching, monoprints and works on paper are influenced by traditional turtle shell and wood carving. The distinctive Melanesian mark making, or minaral, of the Western Islands sits at the heart of their visual traditions and continues to evolve as emerging artists re-imagine their own histories and stories. In recent years a new generation of women artists has come through, bringing new energy and fresh perspectives to Moa Arts’ creative practices.
The woven baskets, bags and jewellery of Moa Arts all have the distinctive island style of the Torres Strait. The hand-dyed and woven bags and baskets speak to the rich colours of the reef and the complex marine ecosystems that surround the island. Even the beaded earrings and necklaces have stories to tell, of families, different islands and the unique local flora. As a community based, not-for-profit organisation Moa Arts runs an energetic program of creative and cultural programs. All of the proceeds from sales go to it’s artists, or towards training and skills development opportunities for its arts workers, artists and community members. Moa Island is situated half-way between the tip of Cape York in Queensland and New Guinea to the north. Visitors are always welcome. Phone ahead for assistance with travel, accommodation and permits.
Image: David Bosun, Kazi Laig (State 1), 2020. Lino print, 50 x 45cm. Courtesy: Moa Arts.