• Brian Robinson preparing his mud crab installation to transport to Monaco. (NITV News)Source: NITV News
Eco focused Indigenous artworks take centre stage at an exhibition in Monaco's Oceanographic Museum exhibition.
By
Malarndirri McCarthy

Source:
NITV News
26 Feb 2016 - 12:06 PM  UPDATED 26 Feb 2016 - 2:03 PM

Dugongs, sea turtles and other marine animals get tangled up in abandoned fishing nets in Australian waters.

For Indigenous coastal communities the impact is devastating largely because its a traditional food source, and of cultural value.

Now fifty artists are going to use their creative skills to portray the urgency of protecting Australia's fragile eco- system.

Some of these artists come from the Erub Art Centre on Darnley Island in the Torres Straits, and their focus is on the use of abandoned fishing nets.

Artist Brian Robinson who grew up on Waiben - Thursday Island - says the Erub Art Centre artists, "make fantastic sculptural works out of this ghost net material, that they drag up onto the island and make frames."

Some of the artwork is already packed, and sailing across to the Mediterranean Sea to be exhibited at the prestigious Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.

Robinson spent Thursday packing his own artwork of three,  4-metre-wide crabs, or Malu Githala in the Torres Strait language.

"It's made of honeycomb aluminium," he says of the sculptures which will be installed on the walls of the Monaco museum.

The Oceanographic Museum is renowned for its progressive approach to environmental issues.

Robinson says he, "feels very honoured actually, to be a part of such an important international exhibition," and delighted in watching his art work being packed very carefully for the long journey by air from Sydney to Monaco.

He says the exhibition, 'Australia: Defending the Oceans', is not just about his artwork, but raising awareness of the pollution that items like abandoned ghost nets can do to marine creatures.

The exhibition will be opened by Prince Albert of Monaco on March 24, and will remain on show to September.