Badhulgaw Kuthinaw Mudh

Torres Strait Islander Art from Badu Island
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Home / Artists / JOB KUSU


Job Kusu is a master carver. An enormously dedicated and committed artist Job takes on projects that many would shy away from because of the challenges his concepts often present. Carving from the hardest iron like wood (because when oiled it goes black and looks magnificent), shaping the forms in a way which reflects light, oiling it with home boiled coconut oil because it is better than anything else he could buy. A Kusu carving uses 100% Badu materials and is an expression of all he is, and all his place in Island life represents. 

Job originates from Saibai - an outer Torres Strait island historically known for its warrior men. He came to Badu years ago and has lived and contributed to the community. His carvings are frequently bought by people visiting the islands, and always sell well. His families of Dugong are superb and holding a Kusu Dugong is like holding a piece of warm stone. It is solid and strong but with an endearing sensuousness. All have a 'life' of their own, an almost voluptuous presence depicting the artists understanding, love and respect for this most treasured and revered mammal. 

Jobs other work includes painstakingly made Pearl Luggers, which accurately retell the stories of what Island life was like on those vessels. Some of the stories are joyous and some terrifying - night diving with suits poorly pressurised, so that the water leaked in up to the divers mouths and noses. Of Bends and frequent drownings. Job also turns his creative gaze to various types of fish and sharks and often this work is inlaid with the compressed dust of pearl shell to create eyes and or other highlights. He uses shell to make the teeth for the sharks.

At the end of September 2012 this web site will also display Bronze Dugong by Job and these will equal the beauty of his wooden creations. Job works quietly at home every day, and his work is in substantial demand - because of its beauty and the wisdom shown in how he expresses himself.