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Dennis Nona – Wati Kisai (Bad Moon)

$1,050.00 inc. GST

Exquisitely detailed print that explains to children the dangers of gazing at the full moon.

Dennis Nona is one of the most acclaimed artists from the Torres Strait Islands in Far North Queensland and has exhibited nationally and internationally.

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  • Medium: Etching
  • Size: 460 x 330 (image) and 610 x 560 (paper)
  • Paper: Hahnemuhle 350gsm
  • Edition: 45
  • Published: Darwin
  • Studio: Basil Hall Editions
  • Printer: Merran Sirwakowski


Traditionally and even in recent times children were prevented from looking at the full moon. It is believed that the Mari or bad spirits that are present around the moon at this time could injure the eyes of the small children. The damage, which would be caused by the moon’s rays, would not be apparent immediately but could manifest itself later in life. The artist recalls when he was a very young boy always being accompanied by an adult who had placed a covering over his head and eyes when out of doors during times of the full moon. The figures depicted in the print represent the children shielding their eyes from the moon’s rays.

Dennis Nona Biography

Born in 1973 on Badu Island in the Torres Strait

Dennis Nona was taught the traditional craft of woodcarving when he was still a young boy. This skill has been developed and translated into the incredibly intricate and beautiful linocuts, etchings and sculptures created by the artist since the commencement of his art practice in 1989. Dennis Nona’s work is inspired by coastal life, family, traditional medicines and the myths and legends of the Torres Strait.

He has vividly documented the ancient myths and legends of his island and the wider Torres Strait that had previously been transmitted by oral story-telling and dance. Dennis Nona uses a highly graphic way of storytelling, and links the works with a matrix of delicately lined clan patterning, that binds the entire story to its place of origin.

Dennis holds a Degree in Visual Arts from Cairns TAFE and a Diploma in Visual Arts in Print Making from the Australian National University in Canberra. His art has been collected by a number of prestigious collections and art galleries worldwide, with the number now exceeding 46. He has exhibited his art on more that 160 occasions in some of the most prestigious galleries in the world.

Dennis has won the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Ward for Works on Paper on three occasions and was an outright winner for a sculpture. He has also won numerous other art awards for his prints.

Initially excelling in lino cuts, Dennis expanded into etchings which have become some of the finest examples of Australian First Nations art.