ALICK & ALBERT »Directory of Native Arts

Irony of ironies! The delicious new documentary film, ‘Alick & Albert’, Based on the remarkably incongruous ties established between Torres Strait artist maestro Alick Tipoti and His Serene Highness, Prince Albert of Monaco was created by a company called Freshwater Pictures. Tipoti, of course, can only be a saltwater man, living as he does with his family on that “little point in the western Pacific Ocean” called Badu Island.

But the result does not suffer from this discrepancy. And no more than the importance of the connection between a prince who genuinely cares about the conditions of the world’s oceans and the artistic Torresian islander who can clearly see all around him the essential connection between crayfish fishing and conservation. Both have cared for their children for generations – Albert’s great-great-grandfather built Monaco’s imposing cliff-side oceanographic museum. And Tipoti’s ancestors had to learn all about the tides, sea level, weather, and the stars that inform the seasons in order to survive on their point.

How did the towering Tipoti and the plump prince come together? Well, promoters of TSI art such as Michael and Di Kershaw, Suzanne O’Connell and Stéphane Jacob in Paris saw a clear connection between the maritime concerns of TS islanders with their powerful engravings of sea stories by Alick Tipoti. , Dennis Nona, Laurie Nona, etc. and the development of the art of reusing the Ghost Nets and the Monaco Museum. A big show took place there in 2016. The roof of the museum has become a gigantic canvas for an enlarged Tipoti lino-cut. And, in polite conversation, the hospitable artist casually invited the prince to his point if he ever found himself that way.

Well, Albert had no intention of being like that, but, as the movie says, “folded his agenda” to make it happen, much to the amazement of the diplomatic authorities in Canberra. Loaded with frangipani leaves and devoid of the kind of protective phalanx that we can easily see around him in Monaco, Albert struck Badu, where they had decided to “integrate” him. A battered car transports him to a Badhughal greeting at the Council offices. Soon he was drinking beers with Alick in deckchairs on the beach, watching the sunset to die for. “Monaco is just a point too,” he admits – but the two points, so different, are connected by the oceans of the world.

But then Albert has to face the gauntlet of the great old Badu ladies – all of whom have fond memories of Albert’s mother – the tragic Grace Kelly. The tears flow.

Serious business is also done. The Prince’s interest brought him to the Australian Institute for Marine Research – far from home! Politician and artist Laurie Nona doesn’t hesitate to talk about bleached reefs, rising sea levels, plastic pollution and TSI’s evacuation plans. They even find common ground on threats to their languages ​​- Badhughal and Monagasque. Could it be that through this film Canberra is taking a little more interest in the threat to so many Pacific islands from rising sea levels and climate change, bringing it all closer to home? ?

A courageous thought.

The deployment of ‘Alick & Albert’ across the country seems a bit hit and miss. There is a prime minister in Perth and the Avalon suburb of Sydney tonight, and Melbourne and Adelaide will have their first sightings tomorrow. On the Gold Coast, Home of The Arts (HOTA) sees a premiere on Saturday. But there is only Avalon who, subsequently, seems to offer a season by the sea. Appropriate!

Hope they all saw it on Badu!

Meanwhile, Alick Tipoti’s excellent solo exhibition continues at the Australian Maritime Museum in Sydney until February.


Artist: Alick Tipoti, Dennis Nona, Laurie Nona,

Blog, Event, Media, News, Other event,

Key words:
alick tipoti, Australian Maritime Museum, île de badu, dennis nona, Freshwater Pictures, Grace Kelly, Jeremy Eccles, Laurie Nona, Michael Kershaw, Prince Albert de Monaco,

Comments are closed.