About Djumbunji Press
Djumbunji Press is the brandname of the KickArts fine arts printmaking program. Since its inception in March 2009, Djumbunji Press has collaborated with hundreds of Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists from Far North Queensland and elsewhere, generating new work of a consistently high standard. Some of this work has entered collections around the world and set new benchmarks in the development of Australian Indigenous art. Works produced by many now internationally recognised artists commissioned by KickArts over the past six years have created a remarkable fine art print collection of world-class standards reflecting the cultural diversity of Far North Queensland. Limited editions of prints produced are available for purchase through the KickArts shop online or in person directly from the Gallery located in the Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns. Past Djumbjunji Press activities have included: workshops from beginners to master classes in the studio and in remote communities; an open access studio for artists to print their own work; custom printing for artists who do not want to print their own work; and an Artist In Residence program.
KickArts Contemporary Arts commissions and publishes new fine art prints and professionally distributes these to commercial galleries, collectors, public institutions and online. KickArts also curates printmaking exhibitions for touring nationally and internationally.
The Djumbunji name
Djumbunji is a Yidinji word and translates as 'belongs to the scorpion place'. This is the area known as Mount Whitfield, or Bunda Djumbunji (Scorpion Mountain). The story of Kuiam the warrior is a prominent legend that links the Yidinji people of Cairns and the people of the Torres Strait.
Kuiamguyuru (the Cyclone) was a young Yidinji warrior whose home was at Girriwandi Waree (Woree), the mouth of Trinity Inlet, Cairns. On his journey to become a man his father Kwiol showed him how to use the woomera and spear at a site named Giraba. His first right of passage was to fight the Djumbun (Scorpion) who lived north of Gimuy (Cairns). This fight lasted for many days, from which Kuiamguyuru bore the scars inflicted by the scorpion on his chest and shoulder. He killed the scorpion where it lays today at Bunda Djumbunji and continued his journey north where he travelled to the tip of Cape York. It was here that Kuiamguyuru made stilts from wood and travelled across the water to the Islands of the Torres Strait.
Told by Seith Fourmile, Yidinji, Cairns
The Legend of Kuiam
Kuiamguyuru, after arriving in the Torres Strait, took a wife, Kuinam and they had a child whom they named Kuiam. Kuiam lived with his blind mother Kuinam and his Uncle Tomagan at Gumu. As Kuiam grew into manhood his thoughts turned to fighting. Being of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lineage, he learnt to throw spears with his father's woomera from a young age until he was expert in their use, but he also fashioned two emblems, Giribu and Kutibu (that he wore on his chest and back), which he endowed with special powers. Kuiam spent his life as a fearless warrior guided by the Giribu and Kutibu, instilling both great terror and awe in people throughout the Torres Strait Islands and across to the mainland of Papua New Guinea. Upon his final fight, when he was struck down and killed, several men rushed in with their bamboo knives to behead Kuiam but they were stopped by their leaders who said 'Don't cut off his head for he is a great man with a wise head, a head teeming with ideas, a clever head; let him lie where he stood for he mastered all of his surroundings (the islands).' So instead of insulting the great warrior, they honoured him, piling over his dead body their bows and arrows, spears and stone clubs, saying as they went about this that now that Kuiam was dead all the fighting was over.
Told by Brian Robinson, Cairns