Untitled (Turtle Dreaming)
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.
The Kava Story…..well at least a small part of it!
Kava (piper methysticum) is a shrub that grows across the Pacific region. Noble kava has been cultivated by Pacific people of hundreds of years to possess higher levels of the beneficial kavalactones, the chemical compounds naturally found in kava plants responsible for most of the desirable effects of kava and only trace amounts (low enough to avoid toxicity) of flavokavains, which are harmful to liver and bladder health. Clever eh?!
It is non-alcoholic, non-opioid, and non-hallucinogenic.
Kava plays a central role in the social and ceremonial lives of many Pacific islanders and has done so for hundreds of years. Kava preparation traditionally includes grinding, grating or pounding the roots of the plant and then infusing with water. Kava drinkers appreciate the pleasant, warm, cheerful and relaxed feeling it provides.
These are exciting days for kava growers in the Pacific and for kava drinkers in Australia. We’re proud to be part of it as a way of building stronger and enduring connections between Australia and the Pacific.