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Cassowary sculpture crafted from chainsaws
4 Jul 2016
By Dr Jay Arthur
A sculptural work made with pieces of chainsaw salvaged in the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi in Queensland is new to the National Museum’s collection.
Djiru Traditional Owner Leonard Andy created the Gunduy (cassowary) sculpture in 2015.
Leonard lives in the Mission Beach area in Far North Queensland and is deeply connected to the gunduy.
He has worked with the CSIRO and other scientific groups for the preservation of the endangered gunduy and its habitat. Images of the gunduy are central to Andy’s art.
Environmental concerns for an endangered species
This sculpture explores Cyclone Yasi’s devastating effects on the cassowary’s natural environment. After the cyclone in 2011, Leonard believes protected forest was cleared, using cyclone damage as an excuse.
Leonard expresses his concerns about the long-term effects of poor post-disaster management. For him, the concern is not just for the natural environment, but for the cultural and spiritual life of his country, and the gunduy’s part in that.
The sculpture is two metres in height and was created by Leonard with assistance from George Beeron, Nephi Denham, Phillip Denham, Chris Kennedy, Shannon Solomon and Alan Tobanne at the Girringun Aboriginal Arts Centre.