We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Story boat (cutter)



Glen Mackie


1975 –

Language group: Kala Lagaw Ya, Torres Strait region

No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Cairns Queensland Australia
    Media category
    Materials used
    plywood, bamboo, vinylcut relief print on cotton, wire, nylon string, ochre, acrylic paint
    143.0 x 107.0 x 57.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Art Collection Benefactors 2023
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Glen Mackie
    Artist information
    Glen Mackie

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Glen Mackie, who is known as Kei Kalak (Big Boy), has been at the forefront of the Zenadth Kes/Torres Strait Islander print movement since the 1990s. He was taught to carve and paint by members of his extended family and explores both family stories and environmental issues in his works. Mackie has developed a distinct infill design or minarr (patterning), which is informed by his family’s design and employs an inverted water pattern that is repeated across his works. This artistic style gives each of his artworks a sense of the ebb and flow of the tides that inform his home environment.

    Mackie has cultural connections to Iama/Yam Island through his father, and to Masig/Yorke Island through his mother. He grew up on Iama however moved to Gimuy/Cairns to study printmaking at Cairns TAFE in the late 1990s. Following this, Mackie began to work with Gimuy-based master printmaker Theo Tremblay, with whom he continues to collaborate.

    Mackie’s ‘story boats’ give physical form to the story and career of his great, great, great-grandfather Edward ‘Yankee Ned’ Mosby, an American Jewish sailor, who likely arrived in the Zenadth Kes through the whaling and pearling industries of the 1860s. By the end of Mosby’s life, he had achieved commercial success, owning a fleet of five luggers and two cutters. Mackie has covered the base of the luggers and the soft, material sails with minarr, reminding us that these designs have been firmly attached to family and place since time immemorial.

    The image printed on this cutter’s sails are (left) Beizan Le (Shark Dance) a 2011 print by Mackie, (centre) Kukuam, a 2020 unpublished print image and (right) Spirit of a Woman, a 2014 print.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

Other works by Glen Mackie

See all 17 works