a Bit na Ta



Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre
Melbourne Museum
Nicholson Street
Carlton, Victoria, 3053
What's On

Forged by friendship, a Bit na Ta (Source of the Sea) is a multimedia installation of transformative impressions of the Tolai people of Papua New Guinea’s East New Britain province. For over a century (1875 – 1975) the Tolai community’s strength and capacity to survive the disruptions of shifting colonial powers, war, volcanic eruptions and independence struggles has been like none other.

Blurring the past, present and future through video footage, photographic works and collection objects, a Bit na Ta represents a 30-year spiritual collaboration between internationally renowned singer George Telek, celebrated local musician David Bridie (Not Drowning Waving / My Friend the Chocolate Cake) and historian Gideon Kakabin. The exhibition will also include contemporary artworks made by Tolai artist Lisa Hilli.

a Bit Na Ta is a collaboration between the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art and the Wantok Musik Foundation and is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

a Bit Na Ta was commissioned for ‘No 1 Neighbour: Art in Papua New Guinea 1966-2016' from 15 October 2016 – 29 January 2017 at the Queensland Art Gallery.

Two figures in Papua New Guinean masks and costumes on a raft.
Tolai Men and their sacred tubuan objects performing a ritual Kinawai dance ceremony in the early hours of the morning on a Bit Na Ta (Blanche Bay).
Photo: G Kakabin