Carving Out a New Life

Transcript

This is my home. I'm in Shepparton. I'm living here. My name's Nickel Mundabi Ngadwa Nickel. My home country is Democratic Republic of Congo. There was trouble there, I went to refugee. It was in 2000. And this is my home. And until now I continue just to do my art. Art, here, is very difficult, because I can't come with all the tools, because I was a refugee. I'm doing painting and carving wood too.

My work is a little bit traditional. Like in my tradition in Africa, we don't have machines. My first teacher in carving wood is my grandfather. In my own village. Yeah. I started art at the age of five years, to help my grandfather.

Here in Australia, I like Huon Pine. My friends give me Huon Pine. That wood is very nice wood. And Red Gum too. Red Gum's very nice to carve. But hard, yeah.

This is a first step for a small amount. First step to really just form. Now, I can design them, design to give a good form.

This is a nose. Here will be eyes. With a traditional model, traditional artist will not see the shape. But when I went to school, I know to give a good shape in your piece. That's the tool. This piece of wood will take a value after doing this I'm doing now.

Because everything, when you do put something inside, it become value. It become spirit. I'm not talking about a spirit like a vampire, no. I'm talking about a something value. And this piece of wood will take a value after doing this I'm doing now.

About this Video

Nickel Mundabi Ngadwa demonstrating his carving and painting processes, Shepparton, 2014.
Length: 03:00