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Coconuts & Kurrajongs

Untitled (Turtle Dreaming)

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 Untitled (Turtle Dreaming) 2009


Acrylic on Canvas 1200 x 2000

Ratoos Haoapa Gary is from the Gulf Province.  He’s trained, taught, travelled and exhibited extensively in both PNG and in Australia.  Known as Roger, he left Gulf Province after grade six and moved to Port Moresby finding himself engaged in small crimes that led to a stint in prison.  He turned away from crime in 1980 and has since devoted his energies to the arts - renaming himself Ratoos (R for Roger, A for Adam his son, T for Tua his wife).

Ratoos’ style draws on his formal training, his time with Indigenous Australian Artists and his Gulf heritage.  It’s full of symbolism, and stories from his home province as well as hidden references to himself and his family. There is always more than first appears to the eye in his work, including his signature which is often painted into his pieces.  Ratoos is always fascinating to speak with and can be found most months at the Ela Beach Markets.  If you purchase a piece from him, make sure you ask him to tell you the story that goes with it.

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