Girramay Traditional Owner Philip Denham of Murray Upper was awarded the annual IACA Lucille Osborne Emerging Artist Memorial Fellowship at the Kick Arts Contemporay Art Space in Cairns in July.
An artist supported by the Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre, Philip was overwhelmed to hear that his entry was successful.
“My culture is very important to me and this means that I will be able to continue the work of my parents,” Philip said.
“My son Nephi is already a successful artist and now he will be able to help me with my work.”
The fellowship will allow Philip and Nephi to travel to Melbourne to look at traditional objects from this area in the Melbourne Museum.
“Nephi saw a turkey trap when he went down earlier this year.
“I make a lot of string and I want to make a fish trap and turkey trap.
“The last time I saw one made was by my father Andy Denham.
“Mrs Ninney Murray will show me how to make a trap and then I want to teach others.”
Once Philip has finished his traps he will then look at using the bush string to make more contemporary items.
“Philip began making bush string on a regular basis about 12 months ago,” Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre Manager Valerie Keenan said.
“His technique has matured during that period and the string he makes is of an amazing quality.
“He is very committed to making sure that cultural practices of rainforest culture are maintained.”