As one of two artists nominated for the Chain Reaction exhibition by the fantastic Elie Moubarak (Gerard’s Bistro, Laruche and Lychee Lounge), I in turn then selected practitioners whose work and generous spirit continue to inspire me. One such practitioner is Abe Muriata, Girramay man of the Cardwell Range area. Abe is a painter and potter, traditional rainforest shield maker and self-taught weaver.
I feel a deep respect for Abe Muriata through the joy of experiencing his work on a daily basis. I wake each day to one of Abe’s beautiful bicornual baskets, or Jawuns, that hangs beside my bed. Jawans are traditionally woven by women. Abe is the only man to weave them. His delicate and intricate weavings have a modest yet palpable presence. With exceptional skill, precision and material sensitivity, Abe weaves both traditional and contemporary materials into breathtaking bicornual baskets unique to the rainforest people.
In those first personal visioning and awakening moments of morning my eyes often rest on the soft form of his lawyer cane Jawun. Its distinctive strata and layering create a myriad of fragile shadows. My mind wanders and I imagine what it would be like to rest inside the basket, held lovingly by the inner curves of its enveloping surface. In this way Abe’s work engages me to look deeper and transports me to a realm of possibilities and creative moments of insight.
View more of Abe Muriata’s beautiful work through the Girringun Aboriginal Arts Centre.
See Abe’s work close up at artisan: idea skill product from 14 February 2014 as part of the Chain Reaction exhibition, and view the special links Abe has selected; renowned practitioners Emily Murray and Brian Robinson.