Lelearna Shelley St Columban's College (Caboolture)
Where are Our Warriors Print
Diptych, Lino carving, photography, digital imaging


My prints tell the story of two mythological spirits that journeyed with the warriors across the water. The Adaro (sea spirit) was an evil spirit who dwelled underwater and The Nguzu Nguzu (sea god) rode the waves, protecting the warriors guaranteeing safe passage. With the introduction of Christian beliefs, the practices of head hunting in the Solomon Islands ceased, and these warriors no longer had a place in their culture. The Warriors were vital to these creatures existence and without them, the Nguzu Nguzu and Adaro disappeared also. With our Warriors gone, who is left to fight for our culture?


I began with designing prints inspired by my grandfather's wood carvings. I developed, stylised and abstracted traditional patterns for alternate display. I then carved these designs into a lino block exploring the traditional method of carving. Blue was chosen to represent the Adaro as it lives underwater and orange was chosen to represent the Nguzu Nguzu as it dwells in the sky above the sun. Colours were kept artificial to oppose traditional colours and processes. Once printed, I photographed the images and then digitally manipulated through photoshop to remove all imperfections that might draw the viewers’ attention.


Lelearna Shelley

I intend to study tropical medicine as I am passionate about health and once finishing school, I hope I can continue to incorporate my creative thinking into my medical studies. My Solomon Islander culture is my main inspiration for my art. During this year I have gained new knowledge about the history and importance of certain events that have impacted traditional culture and how it affects me today, and also my people for the future. I find it very important to keep exploring this as traditions are becoming more westernised and the culture itself may be lost in the future.