Untitled bears artist's name, date, Red Rock Art catalogue number KP1662 and dimensions on the reverse natural earth pigments and synthetic binder on cavas 140 x 100cm (55 1/8 x 39 3/8in).
PROVENANCE Painted in 2002 Red Rock Art, Kununurra Private collection John Kaldor, Sydney
Billy Thomas Joongoorra's meteoric rise as an acclaimed artist began virtually as soon as he turned to painting for Waringarri Arts in 1995, and within 12 months he had been selected for the National Aboriginal Art Award, won the East Kimberely Prize, and held his first solo exhibition. Like his fellow Wangkajunga artist Rover Thomas, he was born in pre-European contact times, and both worked as stockmen when teenagers on the Canning Stock Route in remote Western Australia.
Thomas' paintings typically use the iconography and visual language of traditional desert peoples, though are painted in traditional ochres used by the 'East Kimberley School', with the self assurance of a desert master. This painting is representative of some of his rarest, later paintings, where traditional iconography has virtually disappeared, and the tactile 'earthy' surface is replete with gestural brushstrokes, thickly applied in predominately white pigments, giving the painting a light and atmospheric appearance.
Another related work from this later period entitled Three Wangkatjunga Law Men, 2001 is in the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide and other examples are held in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and the Museum of contemporary Aboriginal art (AAMU) in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
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