Important Aboriginal Art
25 March 2009


born 1935

natural earth pigments and synthetic binder on linen

122.5 x 132.5 cm

inscribed verso: artist's name, title and Jirrawun Arts catalogue number RP-5-2005-115

$8,000 - 12,000
Sold for $9,000 (inc. BP) in Auction 7 - 25 March 2009, Melbourne

Jirrawun Arts, Wyndham
William Mora Galleries, Melbourne (stamped verso)
Private collection, Sydney


Rusty Peters: Recent Paintings, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne, 7 March - 1 April 2006

Catalogue text

This painting is accompanied by the catalogue Rusty Peters: Recent Paintings, from the 2006 exhibition of the same title which was held at William Mora Galleries, Melbourne. Within the catalogue, Frances Kofod of Jirruwan Arts quotes the artist as describing the painting thus:

‘This place is called Yimenarran. It is upstream from a place called Thalinyman. The river runs along to another place called Warloo. There in the middle are hills coming down from the west. The country to the west is called Wimeroorroon. The white shape in the top left of the picture is a very big lump of quartz. It is the dream time rasp tailed goanna. He became a stone there. On the other side at the top is a place where crocodiles lie all around. The old people used to kill them there. They would grab them when they got stuck in the deep round hole and could not get out.’

Rusty Peters is a senior Gija man of Juwurru with a bush name of Dirrji. He was born on Springvale Station south west of Turkey Creek, where he was raised learning traditional law and eventually working as a stockman. In later years he played a formative role in the Gija cultural program, an initiative set up to pass on traditional life skills such as hunting and tool manufacturing to younger generations.

Whilst working as an assistant at Waringarri Aboriginal Arts, Peters established a close working relationship with Rover Thomas, assisting Thomas on his many trips in later life. In 1997 Peters moved to Crocodile Hole where Freddy Timms had based the Jirrawun Aboriginal Arts group, and began to work on large canvases, producing distinctive paintings within a restricted palette of ochre and black charcoal.

Peters’ work has been exhibited widely across Australia, most notably as part of True Stories: Art of the East Kimberley, which was held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2003, and Parallel Lives: Australian Painting Today in 2006 at the TarraWarra Museum of Art. His work is held in numerous state and national public collections both in Australia and internationally.