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Glen Mackie (Kel Kalak)

Born: 1975, Yam Island, Torres Strait
Lives: Cairns, Qld
Tribe: Iama (Yam)
Totems: Hammerhead Shark (Kurrs); Crocodile (Koedal)

Glen has a distinguishable bold design style featuring wonderfully threadlike lines. He explains that he has been elected as Yam Island’s ‘official’ storyteller. Glen’s mission is to keep alive the sacred stories of the four brothers who traveled from the north before memory and settled at Zenadh Kes, or what most Australians know as the Central and Eastern Torres Strait Islands. In Glen’s works, art and law are combined heroically – the figures are woven into rhythmic patterns of design. Paintings, prints, and sculpted objects by Glen are held in numerous private and public collections nationally.

Glen is from the Iama (Yam) tribe and his totems are the hammerhead shark and the crocodile. His bold minar, or infill-design style, incorporates family totemic designs and his own invented geometric repeating water pattern. He retells the myths and legendary stories he inherited from older family members. As Yam Island’s only practising artist he feels he has a responsibility to keep alive the sacred stories of the four brothers who travelled from the north before memory and settled Zenadh Kes, more commonly known as the Central and eastern Torres Strait Islands. Glen has been a finalist in many major Australian art and print awards and he has exhibited widely. His work is held in national and international collections.

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