Guyiwan (Shark, Biripi totem)

By Biripi creator Michael Scarrott

On Country, at the Taree Universities Campus 2024. Article HERE


Original wax painting by Michael Scarrott produced in floating acrylic photoluminescent panel. TRIPTYCH

*Image credit Aunty Rosalie Neve

Michael Scarrott is a proud Biripi man (Cook Family descendant from Gloucester) with European ancestry, he is an inventor, visual artist and creative Producer. The TUC Guyiwan installation is the world premiere of Michael’s new floating acrylic, photoluminescent panel display. 
Artwork story
Guyiwan depicts the Biripi totem (Grey Nurse Shark). 
Guyiwan is the latest work in Michael's Nature Series wax art collection. The series was inspired by his experiences in nature following his late Biripi Grandmother’s passing in 2015. 
This original wax Guyiwan painting was commissioned by Michael’s Brother and sister in law to raise funds to digitise the works for large format print production. The entire series was previously showcased on Country over NAIDOC week at Gloucester Regional Art Gallery (his Grandmother’s place of birth) on recyclable metal panel.
The spectacular underwater panorama illuminates the absolute awesomeness of nature, the shark silhouette commanding attention, drawing you in to the scene to discover details. Portrayed as apex protector here, Guyiwan is a critically important part of the ecosystem on which we all rely, the artist conveying its strength and grace. 
Michael is grateful to his elders including Aunty Sue Syron, for teaching him the value of meaning in art, the reciprocal care relationship with totems. He hopes this work will shine light on the plight of this critically endangered species as conservation efforts are essential to save them from extinction. He hopes the work will become a beacon of hope, inspiring his community members to be proud, to have courage to believe in themselves and follow their dreams whatever that may be for them. 


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