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Sarrita & Tarisse King – Reflecting On Gurindji and Wave Hill

Our next exhibition at Japingka Gallery features new works by Sarrita King and Tarisse King, opening 8th April 2016 in Fremantle.

This year both Tarisse and Sarrita are thinking about their father William King Jungala, and about his country around Wave Hill. This place is about 600 kilometres south of Darwin and it is the site of the famous 1966 Wave Hill Walk Off.

2016 represents the 40 year anniversary of the walk off, an important Gurindji historical date and a very important Australian historical date.

Sarrita King - Gurindji Mirrwula 012631

In 1966, the Wave Hill walk off set in motion a major land claim for the people of Wave Hill. Vincent Lingiari and other Gurindji elders led a seven year strike. Eventually, on the 16th of August, 1975, Gough Whitlam formally handed over the land deeds to the Gurindji people, and symbolically poured sand into Vincent’s hand.

In preparing for this exhibition, Sarrita and Tarisse King have been thinking about their father, who they inherited a lot of their artistic and philosophical ideas from.

To recognise this anniversary, both artists will go back to visit the land at Wave Hill. For this exhibition they have revisited some of the painting techniques that their father was using at the end of his career and incorporated those approaches into their own work.

Sarrita has created a small series that have the heading Gurindji. They’re aspects of traditional ideas but incorporating her own way of painting and combining that with the kind of mark making that was more typical of her father. So you’ll see these new works as well as some familiar subjects revisited.

Ancestors Gurindji

Sarrita King will be attending the exhibition here at Japingka. It is always a great opportunity for people to talk with the artist and get a sense of what motivates her. Sarrita is very articulate and a fascinating person to meet.

The new works in this exhibition are bringing us more of those amazing layers of dots that the artists use to build up their paintings. These have extraordinary depth of field, the images look as though they’re coming out from the land beneath.

In this exhibition Sarrita has some of her Ancestors paintings, fantastic images of the country and how people used it within a traditional lifestyle. She’s painting landscape in the way that her father and the traditional people used the land.

These ancestors walked across the land and moved with the seasons and with the resources. I think about these images as creating a map built over time. The images show the land and the interaction from the people, along with all the activities that go on, all inside one map. They’re fantastic paintings.

Tarisse King has some paintings on the Salt Lake country in Central Australia, where the red dust and the white salt mix together on the salt lakes. The gradations of colour are extraordinary.

Sarrita is a young woman who has already established a very strong career as an indigenous artist. If you are able to attend the opening on April 8 you’ll have the opportunity to hear some interesting and insightful commentary direct from the artist. I’m really looking forward to it.

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