East Kimberley Painting Revisited
Caruana & Reid Fine Art is pleased to announce its collaboration with Jirrawun Arts to represent Freddie Timms and Rusty Peters. The inaugural exhibition to feature the recent paintings by these two prominent artists will be set within the historical context provided by the inclusion of works by the two founding fathers of the East Kimberley style of painting, Paddy Jaminji and the inimitable Rover Thomas.
Rover Thomas is rightfully acknowledged as the leader of the first wave of East Kimberley painters. He was the owner of the Kurirr Kurirr Dreaming and its associated ceremony, and he enjoyed artistic success in his lifetime, including representing Australia at the Venice Biennale of 1990 and a retrospective survey at the National Gallery of Australia in 1994. The Kurirr Kurirr had been revealed to Rover in the aftermath of Cyclone Tracy that destroyed the city of Darwin on Christmas Eve in 1974. Cyclones are traditionally associated with ancestral Rainbow Serpents and the event was interpreted by elders across the Kimberley as a warning that Aboriginal people must retain their culture, language and law in the face of the ever-increasing influence of European society and all its inducements.
This imperative has lead to the emergence of one of the most innovative schools of painting in Australia.
Jaminji, however, is in fact the first painter of the boards carried in Kurirr Kurirr rituals due to his relationship to Rover. In kinship terms, Paddy was Rover’s mother’s brother and thus in the correct kinship position to be the main ceremonial artist. Sadly, for a man steeped in ancestral knowledge and the history of the east Kimberley region, Paddy’s public art career was cut short by trachoma and he stopped painting in 1987 although he lived for another decade.
The exhibition will include two major new, monumental works by the inheritors of Rover and Paddy’s legacy: Freddie Timms’ Frog Hollow, 2009, and Waterbrain 2, 2009, by Rusty which is a reinterpretation of the 2002 work in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Freddie was one of the painters of the emblems for Rover’s Kurirr Kurirr ceremonies, but did not begin painting consistently in the public domain until the late 1980s. Rusty was a friend of Rover’s who accompanied him on several journeys towards the end of his life and on rare occasions, they collaborated on paintings.
Gallery Manager Michael Reid – Caruana & Reid Fine Art
3rd March to 2nd April 2010
Caruana & Reid Fine Art (Michael Reid Gallery at Elizabeth Bay) 44 Roslyn Gardens Elizabeth Bay NSW 2011 www.michaelreid.com.au
Tel: +61 (0) 2 8353 3500 Mob: +61 (0) 400 375 423 email@example.com
Artist: rover thomas, paddy jaminji, freddie timms, rusty peters
Category: Australia ,
Gallery: Michael Reid ,