This selection of works is drawn from the remote regions of East Kimberley and Great Sandy Desert. Nomad Art presents eight distinguished artists each renowned for dynamic contemporary expression of their country, culture and lore.
The Kimberley is a vast and spectacular region located north of the Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts. Aboriginal people have been living on these ancient lands for thousands of years and are deeply connected to Country.
Warmun artists from Turkey Creek are renowned for images in natural ochres, which are integral to the contemporary expression of the Gija people. These etchings draw upon traditional Ngarrangkarni (Dreaming) stories and contemporary life.
Senior artist Gordon Barney painted his country Birnoowoo, around Alice Downs Station, where he worked as a stockman and where his family would often camp. Gordon’s paintings are distinct in their use of line and empty space, to depict the hills in his country. This etching depicts a creek that runs through his Country, Birnoo. As he walked across this land with family there was always an abundance of bush food for everyone.
Rusty Peters is a senior Gija man of Joowoorroo skin, his detailed knowledge of the land and stories from Springvale and neighbouring Moola Boola stations is reflected in distinctive paintings in traditional red and yellow ochres and black charcoal. While recognisably part of the ‘Warmun’ style the intricate curves mapping Country and the dark caves and rivers in his images are particular to Rusty’s work.
The works by Rammey Ramsey relate to the flat country in the area near Elgee Cliffs, south of Bedford Downs, which has the same Gija name as the artist, Warlawoon. His artworks show the places where Rock Wallabies live as well as camping areas near waterholes. Images of cliffs, hills, riverbeds, rocks, waterholes, roads, stockyards and meeting places appear as distillations of important features of the landscape.
Mingmarriya/Gara Garag (Queenie McKenzie) was a pioneer of the Kimberley art movement, an established painter, and a respected custodian of the local Gija customs and lore. Her art represents powerful landscapes and important stories of her Country.
Paddy Carlton was a senior elder and law man in his community and across the Kimberley region. His paintings reflect the richness of his culture and the love of his traditional country. Paddy was the key artist and mentor for Waringarri Arts.
Warlayirti Artists is located in the community of Wirrimanu (Balgo) in the southeast Kimberley, on the edge of the Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts. These artists have a reputation for vibrant colour, bold brush-strokes and distinctly individual art works which have strong connections to their country through traditional nomad life along waterholes and soaks of the Canning Stock route.
Esteemed law woman and senior artist, Eubena Nampitjin was renowned for her spontaneity and strength of brush mark that carved the paint, leaving rhythmical tracks across the canvas. Her work resonates with the power of place and intimate knowledge of country. Art was like her second language, and she created with passion and dedication, weaving stories from the Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) as well as her personal history and knowledge of her traditional country, southwest of Balgo in the Great Sandy Desert and along the middle stretches of the Canning Stock Route.
Helicopter Joe Tjungurrayi’s approach and dedication to the act of painting is evidence of the reverence which he holds for his country. Helicopter was brought up in a traditional nomadic lifestyle, learning from childhood the location of water sources and how to hunt for bush food. Since 1994 Helicopter has been painting in his own distinctive linear style that emanates from the central feature of a soak water.
Elizabeth Nyumi’s country is in the Great Sandy Desert, west of Kiwirrkurra, and dominated by tali (sand hills). Her paintings of Parwalla depicts a large swampy area, which fills with water after the wet season rain and consequently produces an abundance of bush foods. The majority of Nyumi’s print shows the different bush foods, women, shown as the U shapes, with their wana (digging sticks) and coolamons gathering the foods and whitish colours representing the spinifex.
See works from Warmun Art Centre