The ReDot Fine Art Gallery is proud to welcome back the natural ochre artworks of the famous Warmun Art Centre. After two very successful exhibitions in 2008-09, unique canvases from the Warmun Art Centre will again be gracing the walls of the ReDot Fine Art Gallery, reigniting interest in the lands surrounding Turkey Creek in the East Kimberley, far Northeast of Western Australia.
The show will focus on recent works by Lena Nyadbi and Patrick Mung Mung, two senior artists from the Warmun community, together with a few hand-picked works by other senior artists, who each depict their landscape of rugged terrain, extravagant in colour and forms.
To these Gija artists, the country around Warmun is their home, the place of their Ancestors and the secrets that explain how life is meant to be. Whilst being unmistakably Australian, the Kimberly landscape is unique and the same can be said of the art of the Gija who live and work in the East Kimberley community of Warmun.
From across Australia, Nyadbi and Mung Mung were recently chosen to represent the best of Indigenous artists in the 2011 Art Gallery of Western Australia’s prestigious Indigenous Art Awards. In September, Singapore’s art lovers will be privileged to experience these artists’ works for themselves. The rich colours of the dramatic landforms of their homelands are reflected literally in the works themselves. Warmun artists paint using earth coloured rocks and ochres, collected from their country by hand, crushed to powder at the Art Centre with mortar and pestle and bound with fixatives to give a richly textured finish that has to be seen to be truly appreciated.
Nyadbi tells the story of how she helped one of the first and earliest Warmun painters, Rover Thomas, to prepare his canvases and paint the large fields of black for which he became famous: rubbing the ochres or charcoal with her hand or a stone to create the textures which have become the hallmark of their fame. Mung Mung draws his inspiration from his country, the stories of his forebears and the times he spent in the saddle as a stockman on Texas Downs station to the east of Warmun. As he intimately learned his country from horseback, Patrick Mung Mung now ‘walks’ around his paintings and the land forms familiar in his mind.
Both Nyadbi and Mung Mung, and other senior artists whose work will be displayed alongside, grew up on the cattle stations, working hard and learning some of the white man’s ways whilst still retaining cultural connections that bind them to Ancestral lands, the landscape and the stories of its creation whose power still inspires every one of their paintings. The discipline learned from station life and cultural teachings has stayed with them to today and gives them the strength and resilience to carry on despite whatever hardship and sorrow is thrown their way.
Together the paintings in their Singapore exhibition at ReDot Fine Art Gallery will represent some of the best of Warmun art. Immerse yourself in this art and feel the rhythms of the land that inspired them. Artists Lena Nyadbi and Mabel Juli will be attending the opening to add to the proceedings along with Art Centre Manager, Maggie Fletcher.