Whitford Fine Art
6 Duke Street St James's
London SW1Y 6BN
020 7930 9332
18 May - 17 Jun 2011
Recognising the transformation Aboriginal art has undergone in the last decade or so - from traditional dot paintings to an independent and unique painterly form - Whitford Fine Art presents a selection of innovative artists embracing this style.
Born in 1947 Helicopter received his namesake in the 1960's as a seriously ill young boy who was picked up out of the Great Western Desert by a chopper. The view of his land from the sky imprinted onto him a memory of endless parallel sand dunes shaped by the natural forces of the sacred Dreamtime stories of old. This unique perspective on his country is conveyed through distinctive parallel lines of vivid colour, however a glimpse beyond the surface reveals the traditional values of his culture shining through in subtle symbolism.
LILY KELLY NAPANGARDI
Lily Kelly Napangardi, born c.1948, is a respected senior law figure and authority on women's Dreamtime stories in her home community of Watiyawanu, west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Her works communicate the drifting, changing nature of her homeland desert through her distinctive pointillist technique. This style creates an immersive landscape where her country's hypnotic whole is presented as a combination of the most basic of elements; those of the changing winds and seasons. In 2006 Lily Kelly was voted one of the top 50 most collectable Australian artists by Art Collector magazine.
The eldest of our exhibited aboriginal artists, Kudditji, c.1928, is a respected community Elder from the Northern Territory. His art represents a shift from conventional Dreamtime symbolism as he eschews the traditional bird's eye view in favour of perspective free fields of colour more akin to Western abstract art. In keeping with his ancestor's Dreamtime teachings the notions of time and space are suspended; all that exists are the omnipresent laws of the earth which transcend human experience.
YANNIMA TOMMY WATSON
Tommy Watson was born c.1935 in the Great Western Deserts of Australia. His education went beyond that of the day to day practical skills needed for survival. By his father's teachings he became a modern day vessel for the rich social, spiritual and tribal knowledge of his ancestors. Today he fulfils the duty to his tribe by travelling across the Pitjantjatjara lands, preceded by his reputation as an Elder and lawman. His art is a symbolic representation of the sacred Dreamtime stories told to him by family elders; stories of ancient spirits and moments in his people's history, set against the landscapes of his country and the laws which underpin it.