Artist | MABEL JULI

Artist | MABEL JULI


Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by MABEL JULI of Warmun Artists. The title is Marranyji & Jiyirriny. [WAC142/08] (Natural Ochre and Pigments on Canvas)

MABEL JULI

Marranyji & Jiyirriny

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by MABEL JULI of Warmun Artists. The title is Marranijy & Jiyirriny - Old Woman Singing out for her Dog. [WAC343/08] (Natural Ochre and Pigments on Canvas)

MABEL JULI

Marranijy & Jiyirriny - Old Woman Singing out for her D…

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by MABEL JULI of Warmun Artists. The title is Balimal. [WAC102/08] (Natural Ochre and Pigments on Canvas)

MABEL JULI

Balimal

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by MABEL JULI of Warmun Artists. The title is Garnkiny Ngarranggarni (Moon Dreaming). [WACP2a/15-18/40] (Etching - Edition of 40)

MABEL JULI

Garnkiny Ngarranggarni (Moon Dreaming)

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by MABEL JULI of Warmun Artists. The title is Wardel and Garnkinny. [WACP08/11-1/30] (Etching - Edition of 30)

MABEL JULI

Wardel and Garnkinny

Mabel Juli is one of the most dedicated and iconic of all Warmun artists. Her seniority and status as one of Australia’s most revered painters has emerged from a consistent and growing body of work characterised by bold yet simple compositions that are informed by nuanced and detailed stories passed onto Mabel from her family.

Mabel Juli was born at Five Mile, near Moola Boola Station (south of Warmun), and was taken as a baby to Springvale Station, her mother's country. Mabel's 'bush name' is Wiringgoon.

She is a strong Law and Culture woman and an important ceremonial singer and dancer. Juli started painting in the 1980s, at the same time as well-known Warmun artists Queenie MCKENZIE and Madigan THOMAS. The women used to watch Rover THOMAS paint and one day he said to them, 'You try yourself, you might make good painting yourself'. Juli says, 'I started thinking about my country, I give it a try'. Juli is a dedicated, innovative artist who continues to work in natural earth pigments on canvas. She primarily paints the Ngarranggarni (Dreaming) stories of her country Darrajayin which is covered largely by Springvale Station.

Mabel started work on the station as a little girl, and as a young woman moved to Bedford Downs Station and Bow River Station to work. Juli's mother is Mary PETERS. Juli is one of seven children - six boys and one girl, Mabel. Well known artist Rusty PETERS is Mabel Juli's brother. He also works at Warmun Art Centre.

Mabel also left Springvale Station to be with her promised husband. Together they moved to different cattle stations in the Kimberley, including Bow River and Bedford Downs. Mabel and her husband had six children. Juli's husband passed away in 1982; Mabel was 42.

Now in her 70s, Mabel continually reflects on her time as a young girl, the vast country she walked with her parents as a young girl, her time as a station worker on her beloved Darrajayin (Springvale Station) country and then the move to Warmun during the last displacement of Aboriginal people from the stations. While her art today was inspired by the great Warmun leader ‘Auntie’ Queenie [McKenzie] she is now dedicated to record her vast experience with a distinctive use of minimalist forms in large seductive fields of colour. Paintings by Mabel Juli represent an innovation in the tradition of East Kimberley Aboriginal art and are created with strength and confidence. Her art turns the distinct visual genre of landscape developed by the now famous Gija painters of Warmun into a mysterious representation of her Ngarranggarni (Dreamings). In her own way, Juli represents a new step in the history of this contemporary art movement, a step that has been compared by researcher Daren Jorgensen as being akin to the pictorial surrealism of Salvador Dali, Max Ernst and Joan Miro, who themselves turned the tradition of European naturalism into a form pertaining to the life of dreams. In the European tradition of landscape painting the viewer looks from a single viewpoint, as if from afar. Like other Warmun artists, Juli works with the shapes of gawarre and ngaarriny (large and small cone-shaped Kimberley hills) where shapes are often placed in impossible relations, at times overlapping, at others atop each other, or arranged across the space in unnatural arrangements but like the surrealists, her forms reflect her dream imagery. In Juli’s work these arrangements are imbued with an undisputed sense of the Ngarranggarni. Her visual language speaks of her deep feeling of Dreaming the country, its shapes ordered by a compelling force that drives Juli's prodigious output and her wondrously executed paintings executed in the rich earthy textures of ochre dug from her country.

ARTIST STATEMENT 2004: 'I started painting when the old girl [Queenie MCKENZIE] was here - she was the one who taught me to paint. She told me, 'You try that painting’, and I started to paint. I was doing that Garnkiny [Moon Dreaming]; that’s the painting I started with - because my mother and father told me that Ngarranggarni [Dreamtime] story. I was reminded of all those stories from my mum and dad - like Glingennayn Hill and the Old Woman Singing Out for Her Dog. Those stories come from my country [Springvale - south of Warmun]. 'They used to take me out bush when I was a little girl - good size - and they told me all about those Dreamttme stories. And I always remember those stories. I got ‘em in my brain.'

ARTIST STATEMENT, 2007: 'I’m feeling pretty good. I like going to exhibitions, going to Sydney, feels good. 'I’m always busy. I finish the work, the painting, and go home. Go to [Warmun Community] council meetings, go to court [as an elder]. I got to make money to get tucker for my grandchildren. I still think about Aunty [Queenie MCKENZIE, who taught her to paint]. When I do paintings. She tell me about stories.'



Mabel Juli is one of the most dedicated and iconic of all Warmun artists. Her seniority and status as one of Australia’s most revered painters has emerged from a consistent and growing body of work characterised by bold yet simple compositions that are informed by nuanced and detailed stories passed onto Mabel from her family.

Mabel Juli was born at Five Mile, near Moola Boola Station (south of Warmun), and was taken as a baby to Springvale Station, her mother's country. Mabel's 'bush name' is Wiringgoon.

She is a strong Law and Culture woman and an important ceremonial singer and dancer. Juli started painting in the 1980s, at the same time as well-known Warmun artists Queenie MCKENZIE and Madigan THOMAS. The women used to watch Rover THOMAS paint and one day he said to them, 'You try yourself, you might make good painting yourself'. Juli says, 'I started thinking about my country, I give it a try'. Juli is a dedicated, innovative artist who continues to work in natural earth pigments on canvas. She primarily paints the Ngarranggarni (Dreaming) stories of her country Darrajayin which is covered largely by Springvale Station.

Mabel started work on the station as a little girl, and as a young woman moved to Bedford Downs Station and Bow River Station to work. Juli's mother is Mary PETERS. Juli is one of seven children - six boys and one girl, Mabel. Well known artist Rusty PETERS is Mabel Juli's brother. He also works at Warmun Art Centre.

Mabel also left Springvale Station to be with her promised husband. Together they moved to different cattle stations in the Kimberley, including Bow River and Bedford Downs. Mabel and her husband had six children. Juli's husband passed away in 1982; Mabel was 42.

Now in her 70s, Mabel continually reflects on her time as a young girl, the vast country she walked with her parents as a young girl, her time as a station worker on her beloved Darrajayin (Springvale Station) country and then the move to Warmun during the last displacement of Aboriginal people from the stations. While her art today was inspired by the great Warmun leader ‘Auntie’ Queenie [McKenzie] she is now dedicated to record her vast experience with a distinctive use of minimalist forms in large seductive fields of colour. Paintings by Mabel Juli represent an innovation in the tradition of East Kimberley Aboriginal art and are created with strength and confidence. Her art turns the distinct visual genre of landscape developed by the now famous Gija painters of Warmun into a mysterious representation of her Ngarranggarni (Dreamings). In her own way, Juli represents a new step in the history of this contemporary art movement, a step that has been compared by researcher Daren Jorgensen as being akin to the pictorial surrealism of Salvador Dali, Max Ernst and Joan Miro, who themselves turned the tradition of European naturalism into a form pertaining to the life of dreams. In the European tradition of landscape painting the viewer looks from a single viewpoint, as if from afar. Like other Warmun artists, Juli works with the shapes of gawarre and ngaarriny (large and small cone-shaped Kimberley hills) where shapes are often placed in impossible relations, at times overlapping, at others atop each other, or arranged across the space in unnatural arrangements but like the surrealists, her forms reflect her dream imagery. In Juli’s work these arrangements are imbued with an undisputed sense of the Ngarranggarni. Her visual language speaks of her deep feeling of Dreaming the country, its shapes ordered by a compelling force that drives Juli's prodigious output and her wondrously executed paintings executed in the rich earthy textures of ochre dug from her country.

ARTIST STATEMENT 2004: 'I started painting when the old girl [Queenie MCKENZIE] was here - she was the one who taught me to paint. She told me, 'You try that painting’, and I started to paint. I was doing that Garnkiny [Moon Dreaming]; that’s the painting I started with - because my mother and father told me that Ngarranggarni [Dreamtime] story. I was reminded of all those stories from my mum and dad - like Glingennayn Hill and the Old Woman Singing Out for Her Dog. Those stories come from my country [Springvale - south of Warmun]. 'They used to take me out bush when I was a little girl - good size - and they told me all about those Dreamttme stories. And I always remember those stories. I got ‘em in my brain.'

ARTIST STATEMENT, 2007: 'I’m feeling pretty good. I like going to exhibitions, going to Sydney, feels good. 'I’m always busy. I finish the work, the painting, and go home. Go to [Warmun Community] council meetings, go to court [as an elder]. I got to make money to get tucker for my grandchildren. I still think about Aunty [Queenie MCKENZIE, who taught her to paint]. When I do paintings. She tell me about stories.'



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