ELCHO ISLAND, Australia
SGFA works with award winning artists from Elcho Island Arts, including Linda Namilyal Bopiri and Peter Datjing (in numerous museum and notable private collections – including the Arnaud Serval Collection, Paris) and finalists for the prestigious TELSTRA Award (Aboriginal Art), Richard Gandhuway and Jeremiah Bonson.
These Yolgnu artists, all practising in the Northern Territory, use a variety of organic mediums such as wooden sculpture, bark and ochres, to continue contemporary practices of deep tradition and cultural understanding. Their museum-quality works can be found at SGFA and images sent upon request.
Linda Namilyal Bopirr
Oysters-Wititj, c. 2009
238 x 145 cm
Linda Nyamilyal Bopirri
Python Waterhole (Wititj), c. 2009
Natural ochre on cloth
190 x 135 cm
Pigment on canvas
LINDA NAMILYA BOPIRRI
Namiyal Bopirri paints on bark and canvas, imbuing her geometric landscapes with quirky animals. They often appear to be running across the bark, their eyes on the viewer as if looking behind at a pursuer. Many of Bopirri’s images (itchy caterpillars, bush foods and snakes), come from the Wagilag Sisters creation story, one of the most important creation myths of this region. Other favourite subjects include Wayanaka, oyster beds, which are features of her rocky salt-water country east of Ramingining on the mainland side of Huchinson Strait.
Her work is in numerous collections including: the Aboriginal Art Museum, The Netherlands; Linden Museum, Stuttgart, Germany; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Queensland Art Gallery; and private collections throughout the world including the Arnaud Serval Collection, Paris.
Peter has travelled to various cities and areas of Australia, Europe America and Canada for cultural displays and exhibitions. He had been living on and off at his outstation at Mata Mata (mainland) until settling back at Galiwin’ku Community, Elcho Island, to continue pursuing his art career. As a senior custodian of his clan, Peter is renowned for his paintings of sacred Gumatj designs on bark paintings, hollow logs, dance poles and ochres on canvas.
Peter was a Finalist in the 15th, 16th and 17th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Art Awards. His works are in numerous international public and private collections, including: the Paris Museum (MNAAO); the Arnaud Serval Collection, Paris; and the Ethnographic Museum of Geneva, Switzerland.
Richard Gandhuwuy resides on Elcho Island. He tells creation and dreaming stories through a range of mediums including bark painting, carving, paintings on canvas, paper and bodies and screen printing. Taught to paint traditional stories by his father, Djunmal, he is committed to creating artworks which tell stories from traditional ceremony, song and dance and the patterns of alliances between different Dhuwa moiety clans.
He was a 2009 and 2010 Finalist for the 26th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory.
Bonson, an accomplished painter and print-maker, regularly makes music by playing the yidaki. He grew up in an outstation near Maningrida called Gamourgouyoura, his mother’s land. Bonson was taught by his parents to respect and protect his mother’s land, his clan’s creation stories and the carvings and paintings that represent them. He is best known for his carvings of the Mimi spirit, the Wirrah Bun Bun. This spirit is Jeremiah’s mother’s totem and by carving it according to the strict style passed on to him, he is keeping the clan traditions alive.
Jeremiah Bonson was a 2011 Finalist in the 26th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory.