Australia’s Arts Centres

Frances Derham (1894-1987) Untitled 1949, oil on board, 34 x 24cm | $2,000-3,000

This August we are proud to present a number of works from several regions and their respective arts centres. Naming just a few, I’ve highlighted key artists from the Balgo and Kimberley Regions, Arnhem Land, the Tiwi Islands, and the Central and Western Desert regions.

Taking up the paintbrush at the age of 81, Sally Gabori worked on an impressive body of work, devoting her output to the tradition of her people and the memories associated with her homeland, nature, and the landscape. Her contemporary landscapes are held in numerous public collections around Australia and internationally.

Transporting viewers into a world of vibrant colours and mesmerising forms, My Father’s Country serves as a visual gateway to the artist’s ancestral connection and the stories of her people. Associated with meaningful sites from a lifetime spent on Bentinck Island, Gabori dominates the composition with vibrant blues, reds, and burnt oranges. While the warm tones evoke the landscape of her ancestral country, the swirling forms and vivid blue is reminiscent of the waterholes and winding rivers of the Mornington Island region. This magnificent piece will be offered in our upcoming Indigenous Art auction in August. 

In the Western Desert region, the Papunya Tula movement emerged in the 1970s, adapting traditional storytelling and ceremonial designs onto canvas whilst playing a crucial role in the development and success of the broader Indigenous art market. Signature geometric designs are seen across numerous artist’s work from Papunya Tula to this day. Artists including Warangkula Reid Napurrula, Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri, and George Ward Tjungarrayi, all featured in this catalogue, have adapted these distinctive characteristics across their canvases. 

Sally Gabori (1924-2015) Hunting Ground 2006, acrylic on linen, 120 x 91cm | Sold for $5,456

Looking out towards the south-east Kimberley in north Western Australia, Warlayirti artists possess a distinct style infused with vibrant colours depicting the rugged beauty of the landscape. Ranging from earthy ochres and deep reds to vibrant blues, these pieces reflect the changing seasons and spiritual connections of their people. Early Warlayirti artist Johhny Mosquito Tjapangati captures the essence of the region in his piece Storm Dreaming at Kurtal 1992, depicting the Tjukurrpa (Dreamtime) which are conveyed through his geometric shapes, lines, and concentric circles, prominent characteristics seen throughout all the Warlayirti pieces on offer. 

Heading into the far north, Maningrida Arts and Culture, an arts centre in the remote community of Maningrida in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, is a vibrant hub that supports a wide range of artistic practices including painting, printmaking, weaving and carving. This art centre has regularly caught the attention of celebrities including David Attenborough, Elton John, and Pablo Picasso, producing high-quality artworks while preserving Indigenous cultural practices. Several beautiful carvings are featured in our forthcoming catalogue including an intricate fish trap by James Iyuna, and pieces by Peter Minygululu and Irenie Ngakinba.

This auction gives us another opportunity to celebrate this historic artform and bring awareness to the communities from which these stunning pieces have come from. The vibrancy and unique storytelling from each region highlight the diversity of Indigenous culture and we look forward to presenting the full exhibition and auction catalogue in August. 

LUCY FOSTER / Senior Specialist, Fine Art 

Banner Image: SIMON HOGAN (born 1930) (Language group: Tarutjara/Pitjantjatjara) Lingka,synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 120.5 x 180cm | $9,000-12,000 | © Simon Hogan/Copyright Agency, 2023

August 2023