Churchill Cann was born and grew up on Texas Downs Station, northeast of Warmun, where he worked as a stockman for most of his life. His bush name is Yoonany. Cann has travelled extensively throughout the Kimberley, working on many different cattle stations between Warmun and Broome. When station work finished, Cann moved to Warmun Community to live, where he is well known as an important ceremonial dancer, bushman and senior artist.
Cann is one of the few remaining medicine men for the Gija language group; he inherited this role from his father. Many of Cann’s siblings are also artists; they include Nancy Nodea and Katie Cox.
Cann’s painting style is distinctive. He views the landscape aerially and maps out his country in soft, painterly marks. Cann’s paintings are carefully observed topological maps of this region. Cann’s country is located northeast of the Warmun Community on what is now called Texas Downs Station. Cann’s paintings involve aspects of traditional Ngarranggarni (Dreaming) stories as well as his own experiences in this country as a stockman and station hand.
When Cann undertakes a painting, he will often spend some time reflecting and considering what aspect of his country or experience he will communicate. Cann’s daughter, Charlene Carrington, is also a dedicated artist.