Paddy Bedford (circa 1922-2007) Untitled (Old Bedford), 1998
Lot 56
Paddy Bedford (circa 1922-2007) Untitled (Old Bedford), 1998
Sold for AU$ 36,600 (US$ 34,212) inc. premium
Lot Details
Paddy Bedford (circa 1922-2007)
Untitled (Old Bedford), 1998
natural earth pigments on hardboard
80 x 100 cm (31 1/2 x 39 3/8in).


    Purchased from Jirrawun Arts, Kununurra, Western Australia in April 2000
    The Laverty Collection, Sydney

    Linda Michael (ed.), Paddy Bedford, exh. cat., Sydney: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2006, p.143 (illus.)

    Untitled (Old Bedford), 1998, is the fifth painting
    catalogued in the first year Nyunkuny commenced
    painting in the public arena through Jirrawun Arts.
    The title of the work refers to the original building
    constructed of Spinifex and paperbark, on Bedford
    Station, south of the present homestead. It is country
    that belongs to Nyunkuny's uncles and aunts and
    known by the Gija name Doowoonan. The painting
    on hardboard reflects the influence of Rover Thomas,
    who passed away in the same year this was created: the
    physical and visual tactility of the natural ochres, the
    articulation of forms defined by lines of white dotting
    which appear to float across the canvas yet are firmly
    anchored in place by the composition, are elements
    reminiscent of Thomas' work.

    Wally Caruana

    Paddy Bedford (Nyunkuny) was born into a 'world
    of violence' (Langton, M., 'Goowoomji's World' in
    Michael, L. (ed.), Paddy Bedford, Sydney: Museum of
    Contemporary Art, 2006, p.53), at Ngarrmaliny on
    Bedford Downs cattle station in the eastern Kimberley,
    where a number of his Gija relatives were massacred
    for killing a bullock near Kananganja (Mount King) a
    few years previously. Nonetheless he grew up to lead an
    active ceremonial life while working as a stockman on
    Bedford, old Greenvale and Bow River Stations. Paddy
    Bedford began to paint for the public in his seventies
    when he joined Freddie Timms as a founding member
    of the Jirrawun Arts collective, established in 1998 to
    protect the rights of a group of east Kimberley artists.
    He was no overnight success; Nyunkuny's mastery of
    painting on canvas owed much to years of ritual activity,
    and he was soon hailed as the 'new Rover Thomas'
    (Koford, F., in Kleinert, S. and M. Neal (eds), The Oxford
    Companion to Aboriginal Art and Culture
    , Melbourne: Oxford
    University Press, 2000, p.540).

    Paddy Bedford participated in several major exhibitions,
    including the seminal Blood on the Spinifex exhibition
    at the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of
    Melbourne, in 2002-3, about the violent times suffered
    by previous generations of Gija, and True Stories: Art of
    the East Kimberley
    at the Art Gallery of New South Wales
    in 2003. He was selected as one of eight Aboriginal
    artists to contribute designs for the buildings of the
    Musée du quai Branly, Paris, that opened in 2006.
    Later that year he was honoured with a retrospective
    exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. In
    2012 his work was included in Ancestral Modern: Australian
    Aboriginal Art: Kaplan & Levi Collection
    , at the Seattle Art
    Museum, USA.

    Wally Caruana
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