PROVENANCE: Executed in Western Australia circa 1970 Collected by a doctor working in Aboriginal communities throughout the Kimberley, in the 1970s. Private collection Lawson-Menzies, Aboriginal Art, Sydney, 22-23 November 2006, lot 7 Private collection
Jomeri is first known to have painted Wandjina figures in 1970-71. He may be seen painting a Wandjina figure on bark and further adorning the work with a stencil of a child's foot in the film Lalai - Dreamtime (1972 Director Producer Michael Edols). In 1974 Kim Akerman commissioned Jomeri on behalf of Mary Macha and Aboriginal Traditional Arts, to produce a number of Wandjina paintings. Jomeri was also a fine craftsman and with his wife Violet made and decorated a number of karaki - bark buckets and bark pleated and tied carry-alls in the same period.
The current work is unusual, as the eyes and nose have been left in outline only, whereas usual practise was to form these as solid elements at an early stage of painting a Wandjina. Unlike some Wandjina artists such as Alec Mingelmanganu or Charlie Numbulmoore, Jomeri did not have a distinctive style and variations occur in his construction and execution of these figures. Unfortunately, Jomeri's output was limited and confined to the early and mid 1970s.
Bonhams would like to thank Kim Akerman for contributing this catalogue entry.