BODY MARKS, 2001

Important Australian Aboriginal Art Auction
Melbourne
18 March 2020
11

PRINCE OF WALES (MIDPUL)

(c.1935 – 2002)
BODY MARKS, 2001

synthetic polymer paint on linen

120.0 x 91.0 cm

bears inscription verso with artist's name, title, date, size and Karen Brown Gallery cat. KB0511

Estimate: 
$15,000 – 20,000
Sold for $21,960 (inc. BP) in Auction 60 - 18 March 2020, Melbourne
Provenance

Karen Brown Gallery, Darwin
Private collection, Darwin

Catalogue text

“In taking up painting in 1995, Prince found a medium through which he could retain the essence of his active ceremonial life. His paintings have a musicality imparted by the lively staccato-effect of dots and intermittent bars, as if to be read like the sheet music for an improvised symphony. Prince’s uninhibited use of colour belies the origins of these designs, which were passed on by his ancestors as marks on the bodies of ceremonial participants. His early works were painted on scraps of cardboard and other found materials, their compact size emulating the proportions of the body. In his last years, Prince ‘upped the ante’, scaling up his Body Marks paintings to assert his cultural authority as a Larrakia elder, as embodied in his statement, ‘… I make the marks.’”

Perkins, H. and Pinchbeck, C., Tradition today: Indigenous art in Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2014, (revised edition)