Booralbun natural earth pigments and natural binder (bush gum) on plywood 60 x 90cm (23 5/8 x 35 7/16in).
PROVENANCE: Painted at Warmun (Turkey Creek) in 1986 Mary Macha, Perth The Holmes à Court Collection, Heytesbury, cat.no.1352 Sotheby's, Important Aboriginal Art, Melbourne, Monday 28 June 1999, lot 33 Private collection
EXHIBITION: Klaus Rinke recent drawings Rhine.Ruhr.Loire.Danube.Pacific Connection.Re-Australia, at RMIT Gallery, 11 July-23 August 2008, Cat. No.10.
Cf. Stylistically, the painting relates to Ngamarrin (The Snake near Turkey Creek), 1984, in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, in Rover Thomas with Kim Akerman, Mary Macha, Will Christensen and Wally Caruana, Roads Cross: The paintings of Rover Thomas, Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, 1994, p.28, and to Untitled, c.1987, in the Janet Holmes à Court Collection illustrated in Belinda Carrigan, Rover Thomas: I want to paint, Holmes à Court Gallery, Perth, 2003, cat. no.15.
According to the artist, Booralbun is the name of a Kangaroo Dreaming of the Walmajarri and Djaru peoples at a site located on Ruby Plains Station south of Halls Creek in the eastern Kimberley. It is a ceremonial or law site that is represented by the irregular oval shape in the upper section of the painting. In ancestral times the Red Kangaroo hid in a cave at this place. The two rounded forms in the lower section of the painting represent freshwater sites, one of which is inaccessible to humans, set amongst the rolling hills of the region.
The painting features Thomas' characteristic use of heavily resinous and gritty paint that contrasts with the wash of the ground colour. The forms are defined by lines of white dots which also frame the picture plane. Typically, Thomas' composition does not imitate the geographic location or the topography of the landscape, rather it expresses a relationship between the various places in physical and ancestral terms, while conveying a strong feeling for the undulating nature of the terrain.
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