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Grim Jordan Creative

Mountain Meri - Baiyer Butterfly

Mountain Meri - Baiyer Butterfly

Regular price $8,000.00 AUD
Regular price Sale price $8,000.00 AUD
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In August 2023, I returned to the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea to mark the first anniversary of my mother's passing. During my visit, I had the chance to attend the annual Hagen Show, an event filled with traditional dances and cultural displays. Among the many groups, a particular ensemble of women from Hagen stood out to me because of their unique facial markings.

Curious, I approached them, politely asked to take their photos, and inquired about the significance of their face patterns. They revealed that they were from Baiyer, a district at the foothills of Mount Hagen, the second-highest volcano in the Papua New Guinea and Australasia-South Pacific region. The intricate patterns on their faces mimicked butterfly wings. These markings, they explained, are a modern evolution of their traditional face paint, representing a connection to their environment. 

The artwork is contains elements from the Western Highlands tribal women's attire, the flowing patterns of the Baiyer River, and the vibrant birds of paradise native to the region. Baiyer is renowned for its dense tropical rainforest, which provides a habitat for many bird species, including the birds of paradise whose plumes are highly prized in traditional singsings (celebratory dances and performances).

In an attempt to capture the stories and beauty of Baiyer and its people, I incorporated gold leaf and bio-organic materials, such as soil and dirt collected in Hagen, into the artwork. This use of natural materials adds an authentic touch and a physical connection to the land that inspired it. The yellow background is a deliberate choice, reflecting the golden hue that covers the peaks of Mount Hagen at sunrise, a sight that holds a special place in my heart from my mother's village in Rondon.

During my conversations with the women, they shared that the patterns on their faces were inspired by butterfly wings. They proudly declared, "Mipla ol butterfly blo Baiyer" (we are butterflies from Baiyer). Their costumes were unique, and their songs were memorable, narrating tales of the mountain they call home. This connection between their art and their environment felt like a perfect tribute to their culture and spirit.

"Mountain Meri" is a celebration of the women from the mountains, their enduring traditions, and the breathtaking beauty of their homeland. It honors their creativity, resilience, and the stories they carry through their songs and dances. This piece is a tribute to the women of Baiyer and its people.

Dimension: 100w(w) x 150cm(h)

Medium: Sharpie Markers, Posca Pens, Acrylic Paint, Graphite Pencil and Varnish. 

Free shipping within Australia, PNG and NZ. Other countries, please contact us for best available shipping options. 

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