Segar Passi / Meriam Mir/Dauareb people / Australia b.1942 / Waier 2015 / Synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen / 140 x 140cm / Purchased 2015 with funds from Anne Best through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Segar Passi

Segar Passi
Waier 2015

On Display: QAG, Gallery 11

Waier 2015 is named after a volcanic islands off the coast of Mer and details the island’s natural features and geological history. Segar Passi’s power of observation references the physical features of the islands and their history of geological evolution. The paintings are the first visual forms recording this traditional knowledge. They speak of a profound and culturally embedded knowledge of place, with ancestral links to the ancient volcanic landscapes of Papua New Guinea.

Segar Passi is an important Meriam Mir elder who developed as a painter during the 1960s, meticulously observing marine and bird species, weather conditions, and painting portraits, images of daily life, and scenes from Creation narratives.

Drawn to painting from a young age, Passi chose this medium over the carving and performance traditions of his Meriam people. His recent works have focused on the natural world to encourage people to be mindful and respectful of their environment, and to record important social and cultural practices and knowledge.