Fantastical travelsPosted: 23 April 2012 Filed under: Inspiration, Rona | Tags: art, Borneo, cats, Dalmatian, Dayak, dogs, George Burchett, headhunters, Horace Ridler, Iban, inspiration, Kuching, linocuts, prints, Rona Green, tattoo, The Great Omi, wild men 2 Comments
‘All fantasy should have a solid base in reality.’
– Max Beerbohm (1872-1956)
Please join a tour of the creative thought process that lead to my series of prints titled Borneoids.
Borneo, the third largest island in the world.
The mysterious island lends it name to quite a few modern wild man myths such as Hiram and Barney Davis (aka Waino and Plutano) who were transformed into the Wild Men of Borneo earning a great sum of money as side show stars.
Kuching is the capital of Sarawak, Borneo and is also known as Cat City.
Cat City is riddled with wacky cat sculptures as well as real life felines nosing around.
The Dayak are the native people of Borneo.
For the Dayaks headhunting and tattooing are important ritual activities.
The Dayak are traditionally animist in belief and their tattoo designs are sophisticated stylisations of flora and fauna.
One particulary impressive plant native to Borneo is the Rafflesia.
The Iban in particular are a heavily tattooed branch of the Dayak peoples of Borneo.
The Great Omi (aka Horace Ridler, 1892-1969) was a professional freak.
Part of Omi’s side show schtick was claiming to have been captured and tortured via tattooing in New Guinea.
Actually he was inked by the ‘King of Tattooists’, George ‘Professor’ Burchett.
Who doesn’t love a black and white patterned animal?
Be sure to check out this mesmerising little clip of The Great Omi.