In March 2022, i (Barbara) visited Karumba for a Queensland Fisheries meeting. During a break at the meeting, Rod Lucas popped in! I had never actually met him, but was aware of him and his sawfish art for a long time.
In 2019, I ran a field trip to Karumba, and as part of it we asked locals to allow us to sample their sawfish saws. This was the first time I came across one of Rod’s saw casts. As it was painted, it took us a few minutes to figure out what we were looking at.
Rod’s casts are for sale in the Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre in Karumba. When I visited him there to see some more of his artworks, he had a surprise for me, a cast that he made as a gift for Sharks And Rays Australia. It is absolutely stunning! Check out the rostral teeth, he left them transparent, so that it’s visible that this is not a real sawfish saw.
Rod’s creativity allows this important part of both Indigenous and also North Queensland culture, the display of sawfish saws, to continue into the future, without posing any harm to endangered species.
Link to ABC article on Rod Lucas’ work: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-02-15/karumba-artist-using-his-work-to-fight-for-endangered-sawfish/100828104
Rod Lucas Gallery https://www.rodlucasgallery.com.au/
Dr Wueringer from SARA with artist Rod Lucas and the amazing saw he made for SARA.