Rover Thomas (Joolama)
Kukatja/Wangkajunga peoples
Paddy Jaminji
Gija people
'The Dreaming Kangaroo at Nine Mile, near Wyndham' 1983
Purchased 1984
© the artists’ estates, courtesy Warmun Art Centre

Paddy Jaminji was born and has lived most of his life on Bedford Downs Station in the Kimberley. Like many of his countrymen, as a teenager and an adult he worked as a stockman at Bedford Downs, and later at the old Lissadell Station.
Rover Thomas (Joolama) spent most of his life working as a stockman in the eastern Kimberley in the north of Western Australia. He began painting on a regular basis in 1981, and within a decade his vigorous and prolific creativity led to his selection as one of the first two Indigenous artists to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale, in 1990.
In the mid 1980s the Aboriginal community of Warmun, adjacent to Turkey Creek, was the first in the East Kimberley to be recognised as a distinctive artistic region, widening non-Indigenous perspectives of Indigenous art, which had been preoccupied with the Arnhem Land and the Western Desert art traditions.
Jaminji worked closely with his colleague Thomas on the Kurirr Kurirrdance-drama. Although receiver of the ceremony, Thomas painted this board in collaboration with his mother's brother, Paddy Jaminji.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Ron Radford (ed), Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2008

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Indigenous Art

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The art of contemporary Indigenous Australians takes many forms. Despite significant change and diversity, the art retains an underlying unity of inspiration—the land and the peoples' relationships with it. It is simultaneously connected to the past and


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The art of contemporary Indigenous Australians takes many forms. Despite significant change and diversity, the art retains an underlying unity of inspiration—the land and the peoples' relationships with it. It is simultaneously connected to the past and engaged with the present, engaging with the world through actions which are lively, positive, political, social and creative.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art collection at the National Gallery of Australia comprises over 7500 works and is the largest in the world. These new gallery spaces allow much more of the collection to be seen with each one specifically designed for a different geographic region or aspect of Indigenous art and, where possible, paintings and sculptures are illuminated overhead by natural daylight, akin to the light in which the works were created.

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