Kirriwirri bears artist's name, medium, dimensions, date and provenance on the reverse as well as an Art Gallery of Western Australia label on the reverse of the stretcher synthetic polymer paint on linen 167 x 112cm
PROVENANCE: Painted in 2007 Short St Gallery, Broome Private collection
EXHIBITED: 2009 Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, 25 July - 15 November 2009
Cf. For related works in the collection of Colin and Elizabeth Laverty see Colin Laverty et al, Beyond Sacred: Recent painting from Australia's remote Aboriginal communities, Melbourne: Hardie Grant Books, 2008, pp.178-179 and illustrated on the front cover.
Daniel Walbidi is an acclaimed young artist who paints infrequently and whose work is highly sought after by collectors. A slow and meticulous artist, his skill lies in his unique rendering of the desert landscape. He grew up in the contemporary world, while surrounded by traditional bush people, some of which were the last to walk out of the desert in Kimberley (including his father).
Walbidi has a strong cultural knowledge and great appreciation of the contemporary world with access to all the modern gadgetry. Hence his fragmented paintings of country reflect the fragments of the differing worlds he oscillates between. His work is laden with the gold and silver of reflected warla or saltlakes, whose mythological stories he has studied under the strict tutorage of his elders. Yet when he paints this country it is glorified and celebrated becoming like a bushman's bling. His work is polished and sophisticated, a slightly stylised yet complex understanding and representation of the traditional country of his ancestors.
Kirriwirri, featured in artist's second solo exhibition and the first to be held in Sydney at Mary Place Gallery in 2007. According to Short St Gallery, this was a landmark exhibition for Walbidi. It marked a dramatic shift in style which was a direct result of a trip 'back to country' with his family. This trip was documented in the movie Desert Heart that screened on ABC television.
This painting was selected for inclusion in the 2009 WA Indigenous Art Awards at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. Another of the works from the Mary Place exhibition features on the cover of Colin and Elizabeth Laverty's book Beyond Sacred: Recent painting from Australia's remote Aboriginal communities.
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