Mentawai Medicine Men - Relief Print / Linocut (2018)
Inspired by travel to the Mentawai islands off Sumatra (Indonesia) in 2017, where I hiked / canoed to stay in a Mentawai village. The medicine men are usually chosen after they demonstrate gifts as children. Their bodies are tattooed and they traditionally wear a loin cloth made of worked tree bark. The Mentawai often live in raised houses with a large veranda/front used for meetings. During the nights, I slept there in my sleeping bag & mosquito net but earlier in the day, the medicine men congregated here (and later took me into the forests to find herbs etc). All the medicine men I met were heavy smokers and cigarettes and tobacco were valued gifts. We also shared our food with them. This painting was inspired by watching a trio of medicine men relaxing after a meal. It was followed by two oil paitings inspired by the same scene: the Trios Diptych and mentawai Medicine Men II.
Printmaking - to produce the background texture I used a caustic soda / wallpaper paste mix to eat into the lino surface - the texture created by the brushes used to apply the mix. NB the image is a reverse of the oil painting