Sea Change Tree Change Changing Together
For more than 30 years I have been fortunate to travel to idyllic and remote locations at the invitation of many artists including First Nation artists. From my very first trip to the Central Desert, there has been the effort to learn about and understand the land, fire and protecting the water source; and similarly in Arnhem Land, understanding the importance of the sea, the impact of that many seasons of the year had on life and country, past and present, is a continuous journey. The school of learning about ‘country’ in the Aboriginal way has been a driving force in my life.
The late, great Ginger Riley in Arnhem Land taught me about respect for his country, especially his totemic animals and birds and even talking to crocodiles in the Limmen Bight River.
It is still hard for me to fathom that Sally Gabori lived a life untouched by non-Indigenous people on tiny Bentinck Island (a stone’s throw from Ginger Riley in the Gulf of Carpentaria - as the sea eagle flies across the Gulf) until the year I was born when a climatic catastrophe made it impossible for the Kaiadilt people to continue living there due to the devastation of the fresh water source.
Both artists painted from memory or the mind’s eye images. What you see today in their paintings in this exhibition is how country was not possibly how it is now or will be in the very near future. Riley his Marra Dreamtime view of country and Gabori her unique non derivative view of sea and land of her birth on Bentinck Island.
Sea Change Tree Change Changing Together is a play on the senior generation often changing lifestyles by moving to the sea or country, however we are now addressing the realisation that this privilege may not be available to their grandchildren and subsequent generations due to climate change, pollution and extinguished sea and land life. We understand Venice may be lost to tourists (and artists) in 80 years due to rise in sea level and pollution but the rubbish especially plastic in our own water sources, killing sea life combined with rising temperatures is having a devastating effect.
“Changing together” as outlined recently by Sir David Attenborough at the 2019 UN Climate Change Summit in Poland was the theme for artists in this exhibition to show their world now and to make a statement to work towards what we can do to improve or change habits regarding climate change, pollution in our waters and taking care of country in Australia
I thank all the artists and contributing writers for continually inspiring us and joining in the call for action.
Beverly Knight 2019 Director, Alcaston Gallery
TIGER YALTANGKI Malpa Wiru (Good Friends) 2019
We are thrilled to present new paintings and limited edition prints by artist TIGER YALTANGKI
in his second solo exhibition at Alcaston Gallery, Malpa Wiru (Good Friends).
With his bold, idiosyncratic style and vibrant use of colour, Tiger Yaltangki creates exciting artworks that allude to an avid appreciation for popular culture and an innate understanding of his country in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunyjatjara (APY) Lands, north-west of South Australia.
Yaltangki takes inspiration from his favourite science fiction films and television shows, such as The Mighty Boosh and Dr Who, as well as influential rock and roll bands like AC/DC in the creation of his Malpa Wiru (‘good friends’). These vivid characters come alive within striking abstract landscapes, together with imaginative depictions of Pitjantjatjara Mamu, cheeky supernatural spirits that derive from an inherited knowledge of his traditional culture.
KATHLEEN PADDOON Nakarra Nakarra 2019
We are thrilled to present new paintings by senior artist Kathleen Paddoon in her first solo exhibition at Alcaston Gallery.
Kathleen Paddoon paints her mother’s country, Nakarra Nakarra using a vibrant colour palette and expressive brushstrokes to depict this significant country and Tjukurrpa (dreaming). Kathleen is a senior custodian of the Nakarra Nakarra Tjukurrpa (Seven Sisters’ Dreaming), including all of the associated ceremonies and songs from the country south of Yakka Yakka.
Nakarra Nakarra is a site of the Seven Sisters’ Dreaming, a story about seven Napaltjarri sisters who travelled this country during the Tjukurrpa (Dreamtime) running from an old Tjakamarra man who wanted to marry the youngest. Today at Nakarra Nakarra a group of hills embody the Seven Sisters, and this sublime body of work is a re-imagining of how Kathleen views this sacred country and Dreaming.
Having started painting in the late 1980s, Kathleen only emerged as a significant artist in the early 2000s, renowned for her rich depictions of Nakarra Nakarra and associated country. Kathleen is also a senior law woman and is one of the original sixteen elders who established Kapululangu Aboriginal Women’s Law and Culture Centre, an organisation committed to the revitalisation of women’s Law and culture.
It has been 15 years since Kathleen Paddoon’s first solo exhibition, and Alcaston Gallery is honoured to present a remarkable new body of work from this important senior artist.
JUDY HOLDING: VOICES FROM THE LAND I
Voices, past and present, calling from the landscape – the trees, the rocks, the birds – beckoning you to enter with respect and understanding – to listen to what is being said.
One of the formative influences on my method of working dates back to the late 1970’s when on my first visit to Arnhem Land I learned about the protocols that govern image making in rock art. Whilst it was forbidden to alter an image already on the rock face, it was quite acceptable for traditional custodians to paint their own images over an earlier painting. Over millennia this of course led to an incredibly rich collage of often fragmented, subtle image mark making that required long and careful viewing.
I have found that the only medium that can achieve this effect for me is watercolour; through its use I can build up an integrated work from the vastly different sources that interest me.
I see myself as a landscape painter particularly interested in the Australian Environment, particularly its History and its Birdlife. I draw on my own Field Diaries, and historical reference sources such as libraries, museums, and the oral histories of Traditional Owners.
- Judy Holding 2019
Judy Holding’s love of the Australian landscape is the inspiration behind her beautiful works on paper and sculptures. Since 1979, the artist has habitually travelled to the Northern Territory, especially to the monsoonal escarpment country of the Kakadu region, to observe and document indigenous ritual practices, spiritual beliefs and social structures.
Born in Bendigo in the central goldfields of Victoria, the landscape and bird life is entrenched in the artist’s third eye. This exhibition shows a lifetime of looking and imagining the land, listening to the voices that guide her; this includes acknowledging the beauty and the loss of the natural environment due to the ever-changing effects of climate change.