Important Australian and International Fine Art
28 November 2018


(c.1922 – 2007)

ochres and pigment with acrylic binder on Belgian linen

80.0 x 100.0 cm

signed with initials verso: PB
bears inscription verso: To: CHAPMAN GALLERY., and Jirrawun Arts cat. PB 3 2000.68

$28,000 – 35,000
Sold for $29,280 (inc. BP) in Auction 56 - 28 November 2018, Melbourne

Jirrawun Arts, Kununurra
Chapman Gallery, Canberra
Private collection, Sydney, acquired from the above in 2000

This work is accompanied by documentation from Jirrawun Arts.


Storer, R., Paddy Bedford, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2006, p. 147 (illus.)

Catalogue text

Catalogued as painting PB 3 2000.68 in Bedford's chronological index of works, this painting on linen was executed in 2000, and represents the country of Wirwirji. Also named Tea Hole, Donkey Hole and Police Hole by Paddy Bedford on different occasions, it is located approximately 10 kilometres north east of Bedford Downs homestead adjacent to Horse Creek in his mother's country and is home to a deep permanent waterhole. It is the place where his mother died when she was only middle-aged and where her body was wrapped in paperbark and placed in caves in the traditional ways of this country.1

Painting his first works in 1997 at the age of 75, Paddy Bedford soon became recognised as an innovator and important artist through his unique depictions of East Kimberley history. He is credited with evolving the artistic tradition forged earlier by Rover Thomas and Paddy Tjaminji. Crafting his own representations of country, Bedford’s formal language is characterised by the relationship between bold forms and an elegance and balance in composition. Passing on knowledge about his country, it’s features, and the sacred narratives connected to it as well as stories relating to everyday life is a fundamental purpose of his paintings. Bedford’s paintings recall the country where he grew up and in which he traversed in his everyday life. Rocky escarpments, rivers and other amorphous features of the Kimberley landscape are evident, whilst at the same time containing a learned and poetical knowledge of the land and its creation stories.

1. Kofed, F., ‘Places in Paddy Bedford’s Country’ in Storer, R., Paddy Bedford, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2006, p. 135