Sculptor and bamboo artist, Leonard Tebegetu brings his culture and upbringing in Papua New Guinea, his experience of life on a small island off the north of the main land and his work as a contemporary artist working globally, based in Port Moresby – to the role of Canoe Maker for Mountain to Mouth 2016.
In 2015, he was head designer for the workshop that constructed artworks for the Pacific Games opening ceremony and supervised 35 local people to make them. Leonard brings a range of unique techniques developed in PNG – the ‘land of bamboo’ – working with bamboo of all sizes. He is well able to share these methods with local artists in group skills development workshops and/or focussed mentorship of local artists over time.
Leonard lives in a land where traditional culture is still contemporary culture, alive and accessible, yet it is also being eroded within this generation, by the colonial forces faced by Aboriginal people over the past century. He is eager to engage in cultural and creative exchanges with Indigenous Elders and local artists, to let their ideas and preferences influence the Canoe sculpture.