Important Aboriginal + Oceanic Art
24 March 2010

Daniel Walbidi

born 1983

synthetic polymer paint on linen

105.5 x 106.0 cm

inscribed verso: artist's name, medium, date, size and Short St Gallery cat. 24248

$9,000 - 12,000
Sold for $19,200 (inc. BP) in Auction 13 - 24 March 2010, Melbourne

Short St Gallery, Broome
Tony Bond Art Dealer, Adelaide
Private collection, Brisbane

This painting is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Short St Gallery, Broome

Catalogue text

Daniel Walbidi is a significant and founding figure for the Bidyadanga Art Movement (also known as the Yulparitja Artists). At 16 he was driven to paint and was desperate to learn of his desert history, his family having been displaced and forced to move to the coastal community of Bidyadanga (formerly LaGrange) the traditional country of the Karrajarri. He encouraged his elders, all of who were first contact people, to start painting and to share their cultural heritage. The movement’s significance stems from the rendering of desert iconography in the palette of the saltwater country: rich aqua, blue, pindan red and deep purples. This diverse palette has had a significant impact on other desert painters.

Walbidi soon mastered the multi-layered technique of painting as seen in the work above. He depicts the subterranean waterways that flow beneath the cyclone battered Great Sandy Desert, overlayed with finely dotted desert vegetation. The soaks and jila (living waterholes) are also shown. All were applied while singing the mythological stories and songs of this ancient landscape. Walbidi often employs silver and gold paints to help create the shimmering illusions of the desert. Walbidi has exhibited in London, France, Japan, Holland and in United States of America. He currently has work on display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York and at the Aboriginal Art Musuem in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and later this year will exhibit at the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, France.