UNTITLED, c.1965

Important Aboriginal + Oceanic Art
24 March 2010

Wattie Karrawara

(c.1910 - 1983)
UNTITLED, c.1965

watercolour and gouache on paper

56.0 x 76.0 cm

inscribed verso: McCaffrey Collection cat. 25

$25,000 - 30,000
Sold for $24,000 (inc. BP) in Auction 13 - 24 March 2010, Melbourne

Commissioned by John McCaffrey
Sotheby’s, The John McCaffrey Collection of Kimberley Art, Sydney, 28 July 2003, lot 27
Private collection, New South Wales

Catalogue text

Showing the country between the Hunter River region and the northern coast of the Kimberley, Karrawara’s composition is an extraordinary panorama with its representation of a school of bream, rocky cliffs and group of suspended cosmological beings. The topographical features themselves are imbued with an intense symbolism. As noted by Wally Caruana, ‘the interpretation of Aboriginal designs and images is not a one-to-one equivalence. Rather, like poetry with all its inherent complexities, multiple references and intended ambiguities, each symbol or icon within a work may encapsulate a variety of meanings.’Here the artist reveals his knowledge of the Kimberley landscape, reaffirming his connection to the land and to the Ancestral Realm.