Fitzroy Crossing Aboriginal Art
A selection of paintings showing the styles from this Aboriginal art region - some paintings may still be available for sale, while some may have been sold.
Fitzroy Crossing is the regional hub for the south east Kimberley, and a major centre for Aboriginal culture in the area. The town is located on the Fitzroy River surrounded by vast flood plains that provide pastoral land for the extensive beef cattle stations of the Fitzroy Valley. The town is on a rise 114 metres above sea level, but the flooding of the river can be enormous when cyclonic rains hit the Kimberley and the mostly dry rivers channel huge quantities of water towards the coast.
The town of Fitzroy Crossing was transformed during the late 1960s and 1970s when large populations of Aboriginal people moved from the region’s cattle stations to live on the fringes of the small outpost settlement. Desert Aboriginal people had been moving onto the cattle stations of the Fitzroy Valley for 30 years, often walking along the Canning Stock Route, then along the trail of river beds to join other countrymen who worked on the stations.
Local traditional owners of the region, the Bunuba and the Gooniyandi people, had accommodated the influx of other language groups from the desert regions, including Walmajarri and Wangkajungka people, and Nyigina people from the west. Ceremonial traditions were maintained by the various groups who also shared some significant ceremonial grounds when large groups came together.
During the 1980s the upsurge of Aboriginal art in the Central Desert was reflected in a growing arts interest in the Kimberley regions. Art projects were established to facilitate educational and cultural growth, and were run by Karriyili and later Mangkaja arts centre. A strong visual culture steadily developed in Fitzroy Crossing, drawing on the many different influences of language groups drawn together in one place. Major artists emerged including Jarinyanu David Downs, Jimmy Pike, Butcher Cherel, Peter Skipper, Stumpy Brown and Paji Honeychild. Fitzroy Crossing has remained a centre for artistic development and a hub for the many Aboriginal communities in the area.
Yiwarra Kuju at The National Museum Australia
Further information is available on exhibiting artists on the following links
Jimmy Pike Artist Bio & Artworks
David Downs Artist Bio & Artworks
Pike Family Exhibition