Timothy Akis

Country/Region: Papua New Guinea

Village: Tsembaga Village, Madang Province

biography by Pamela Rosi Timothy Akis (known as Akis) has the distinction of being Papua New Guinea's first exhibiting artist. He was born about 1944 in Tsembaga village in the remote Simbai valley of Madang Province. As a young man, while working as an interpreter for visiting anthropologist Georgeda Buchbinder, he began to identify local plants and animals by making small drawings. Impressed by this creativity, Buchbinder brought Akis to Port Moresby and introduced him to Australian artist Georgina Beier. She invited him to work in her studio and encouraged him to create images drawn from his imagination. Akis delighted in letting his hand flow spontaneously, and he quickly developed a lively repertoire of cassowaries, lizards, and other creatures inspired by the wild life of his mountain home. Six weeks later, he held his first exhibition at the University of Papua New Guinea.

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