June Peters Artworks

June Peters - New ochre paintings from the East Kimberley

Warmun artist June Peters creates detailed paintings of the amazing landscapes of the East Kimberley, including the Bungle Bungles or Purnululu, and the areas around the Ord River and Texas Downs. Of the country where she was born, Texas Downs, June Peters says – “Red Butte on Texas Downs, that’s my country. All the Gija people of my family were born at that station. It’s a big rock, a hill, but it’s all red. That’s where the old people used to go for ceremony on old Texas Downs.”

Red Butte on Texas Downs is in grazing country between the old and the new homesteads on Texas Downs. Like all the station country in this area, the flatlands are surrounded by high rocky breakaways and outcrops which make a dramatic landscape. A strong group of Gidja artists is associated with Texas Downs, including Queenie McKenzie, Patrick Mung, Churchill Cann, the Carrington family – Betty, Sade and Charlene Carrington – June Peters and Mark Nodea.

Equally dramatic is the landscape around Purnululu, the beehive domed hills known as the Bungle Bungles, south of Turkey Creek. June Peters says of this country – ‘Purnululu is in my country. Our people used to go there for ceremony and hunting.” The unique striped formation of Purnululu came into being millions of years ago when the landscape was under water, and the deposits of sediment were built up to form the bands of coloured rock that were later eroded into the beehive or dome shapes. Purnululu remains a striking subject for Kitja artists and an important cultural site for the people, and has inspired many famous East Kimberley artists including Jack Britten, Phyllis Thomas, Sade Carrington, Shirley Purdie and Marcia Purdie.