KEN THAIDAY Snr’s extraordinary dance machines reflect the importance of the sea and its various symbols and totems. KEN has chosen the Hammerhead Shark as his totem and his most famous works incorporate this shark as a symbol of law and order.
Erub is a place where music and dance are important foundations to cultural practice and creativity, once more on the rise through a revival in artistic activity.
In part two of The sea, the feather and the dance machine we join the islanders for a feast and prepare to leave the island and make our way back to the Australian mainland.
KEN has contemporised the culture of headdress making, mobilising his work with complex systems of strings and pulleys to make his dance machines move, it might be the opening and closing jaw of KEN's shark headdress or the flapping wings of a large seabird made for an important ceremomy.
KEN's works can be grand in scale but composed in the greatest detail with many small components.
For KEN, his beliefs and his culture are what make him an important figure as a Torres Strait artist. As a senior man, he has a very important role in passing on cultural knowledge to younger generations of Torres Strait Islanders.