- Also known as
primary name: Nona, Dennis
- individual; printmaker; sculptor/medallist; goldsmith/metalworker; Indigenous Australian; Australian; Male
- Other dates
- 1973- (Born)
- Printmaker, metal worker and sculptor. Born on 13th January 1973 on Badu Island, Torres Strait Islands, Australia. Belonging to the Badu (Mulgrave Island) community, Kala Lagaw Ya (Western Torres Strait Island language) and Brokan (Torres Strait creole).
The Nona family of Saibai belong to two clans; first is a snake totem, Tabu augudal and second is a stingray totem, Tupmul augadal.
Trained in traditional wood carving and shell etching as a child, work includes etchings linocuts, etchings and sculpture. Rich decorative style drawing on narrative legends of the Torres Strait Islanders, and traditional designs and artefacts. Important figure in the Torres Strait art movement since the 1990s; pioneered the development of highly intricate linocut prints, unique to Torres Strait Islands.
Work comes in visual form, ancient myths and legends from Badu Island and the wider Torres Strait Islands. There is a celebration of Island myths and legends of how humans, animals, plants and landscape took their meaning from epic or magical events in the past. Nona utilizes contemporary printmaking to bring old legends to a new audience. Having learnt the intricacies of traditional carving as a boy on Badu Island, later work applied these techniques to linocutting.
Work is held in major Australian art institutions and several overseas collections.
- 'Sesserae: The Works of Dennis Nona', exh. cat., Dell Gallery, Queensland College of Art, 2005
Adrian Newstead et al., 'Gelam Nguzu Kazi-Dugong My Son', first exh. of limited edition linocuts by the artists of the Mualgau Minaral Artist Collective from Mua Island in the Torres Strait, 2001