Stevan Kepper

Background Info

Date of Birth: 21/11/1977

Totem: Sea Turtle

Language: Torres Strait Erub Island

Clan: Torres Strait Erub Island

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I grew up in Pormpuraaw but was born on Thursday Island. My people come from Darnley Island (the language name for this island is “Erub”). So I am a Torres Strait Island person.
I never learned my own language, but am able to understand some Pormpuraaw languages. My dad came here to work with department of public services. He brought my brother, me and mum to live here with him. I stayed instead of moving on to Townsville with my family. I like the laid- back life style. I have done a lot of different things. When I was 17 I worked on the crocodile farm here in Pormpuraaw. I fed them chooks and pig meat. I went ringing for cattle mustering for a while. I have always like working with my hands building and fixing things. I drove trucks in the mines around Weipa and served in the army reserves. I worked as a plumber for council and have done many different jobs before coming to work at the Art Centre.
I started working with ghost net sculpture. My people in Darnley Island also work in ghost net and it makes glad that we share this medium. We celebrate our connection to the sea by depicting reef animals. We have always depended on them for our food and survival. I like ghost net because of the environmental message. Ghost Net is a nasty of form of pollution that kills many fish and sea life indiscriminately. It needs to stop.
I chose a starfish for my first work. It is an important sea creature and strong symbol for me as a salt- water person.