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Craig Koomeeta

Apeletch Brothers - 2006

natural earth pigments with synthetic binder on milkwood
108 x 90 x 38 cm
Price Realised: $1,800.00

MP #264


Wik and Kugu Art Centre, Qld
Private Collection, Vic

Accompanied by a certificate from the Wik and Kugu art centre, Aurukun, Qld

Large: 108 x 55 x 21 cm Smaller: 103 x 33 x 17 cm

The production of wooden sculpture in Aurukun began during the 1950s under the supervision of the mission carpenter Jock Henderson. Prior to this sculptures were more naturalistic and clay was a primary medium for figurative pieces normally restricted to ceremonial use.

Craig Koomeeta began carving at the age of fourteen in 1991 under the supervision of his uncles, Clifford and Roland Toikalkin. Drawn to sculpture because of its physical and tactile nature, he became one of the youngest carvers at Aurukun at the time.

Craig is a member of the Apelech regional group which consists of clans whose estates are south of Archer River along and near the coast near Aurukun in equatorial Far North Queensland. Apelech ceremonies relate mythical events which occurred during the formation of the world when two brothers (the Pul-Uchen )travelled across the land and waters establishing totemic centres in each region. Kencherang, is Craig Koomeeta's mother's clan country. The Apelech men visited this site on the Kirke River where salt and fresh water meet. Here the Freshwater and Saltwater Crocodile fought and separated thereby creating two distinct totemic subsections of the clan.

Sculptures such as these two brothers are used in performances where dancers re-enact the dramatic events when sacred totemic sites were being revealed on the earth for the first time; when the landscape was being allotted to distinct and different kinship groups.

Craig was awarded the 'Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Prize' in the 18th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (2001).