Janet Fieldhouse

1971 - Tattoo 2011 flexible porcelain with light box and AC adaptor 10 x 30 x 30 cm Collection Shepparton Art Museum, acquired through the 2011 Indigenous Ceramic Art Award, Winner - First Prize 2012.5.1-2

“My work is an expression of my Torres Strait islander heritage: the material culture, rituals of social and religious life, and the artifacts which are created to fulfill the functional and spiritual needs of the peoples of the Torres Strait.

Tattoo explores the ritual of scarification (tattooing) which is no longer practiced today. I have been interested in the scarification surface that was used on the head, body and limbs. Scarification (tattooing) on the head, body and limbs, was considered beautiful, and was central to rituals that young girls went through upon reaching puberty, or a symbol of mourning only on young women. This ritual was also used on newly married women and a ritual for magic. Tattoo is installed on a light box, which allows you to see the hidden secret tattoo markings and offers an insight into this traditional practice of the Torres Strait.”