Auction Catalogue Announcement


The digital catalogue for the forthcoming sale of Aboriginal and Oceanic Works of Art is now available to view online. Click here to view...

Cooee Art MarketPlace will present a boutique offering of 111 lots worth $1.4 million *at its second stand alone auction on 29 May 2018

The sale will include a rare 1880 work on paper by colonial period artist Tommy McRae and a large and important work by Aboriginal statesman Lin Onus, amongst a number of notable and historically important pieces.

Unique in the Cooee Art MarketPlace approach is the level of knowledge and scholarship applied to the presentation of these items of Australian visual and material culture.

Fish and Storm Clouds (Guyi Na Ngawalngawal), 1994, measuring 183 x 183 cm, by Lin Onus is expected to fetch over $350,000. Shown at ARCO in Madrid, it toured Europe during the early 2000s and depicts the artist’s spiritual homeland, the Barmah Forest, reflected on the surface of a waterhole. Haunting almost translucent fish, depicted in traditional cross-hatching, swim beneath reflections of trees and clouds. The tall spindly gum trees alongside the river and the white cumulus clouds overhead are exquisitely rendered within the still surface of the stream. This is a magical evocation of the Dreamtime - that otherworldly and mystical space of Aboriginal myth and legend, where beyond the immediately apparent there reside other powerful stories and dimensions of being.

Nineteenth-century artist Tommy McRae lived and worked along Victoria’s upper Murray River during the period that saw the disruption and ultimate end of traditional tribal life amongst the Aboriginal people of South-Eastern Australia. He was in his fifties and towards the end of his physically demanding work life when he began to draw consistently. A steady flow of interest and paid commissions followed. McRae was able to set up an independent camp for himself and family on the shores of Lake Moodemere, a large freshwater lake of ceremonial importance to his people. It is now well over a century since McRae created this captivating, lively and compelling work. Its rarity and fragility enhances its ingenious beauty. This image of ritually Fighting Figures carries a presale estimate of $40,000-50,000.  

Amongst the many fine contemporary pieces is a magnificent major work by Christine Yukenbarri, the daughter of two of the movement’s founding Balgo Hills artists Lucy Yukenbarri and Helicopter Joe Tjungurrayi. Christine has painted in the kinti-kinti (close-close) style of dotting pioneered by her mother. The canvas depicts her mother's country, Winpurpurla, south of Balgo, in the Great Sandy Desert. At its centre is Winpurpurla, a permanent waterhole where "living water" can be found throughout the year. The sandhills that dominate this country and surround the waterhole are scattered with a delicious veil of seeds and bush fruits. This work is Christine’s largest and most accomplished painting. It’s pre-sale estimate is $24,000 - $28,000.

For more information on this sale, or to obtain high-resolution images of any of the works contact:

* Based on cumulative low estimates



Announcing our Auctioneer - Anita Archer

Anita Archer is an independent art consultant based in Melbourne, Australia. Her consultancy specialises in Australian, Indigenous and Asian Contemporary Art. Archer graduated with an honours degree in Art History from University of Leicester and completed post-graduate studies with Sotheby’s in London. She was the first female auctioneer in Western Australia and has spent many years as an independent auctioneer leading sales in Australia, Jakarta, Singapore and Hong Kong.  Through the platform of Pegasos5, Archer has facilitated the participation and engagement of Asian artists into Australian and international art events. She is currently completing a PhD on Global Art Markets at University of Melbourne.


You are moving into a new apartment and may want a work of art to match your new space. You know the size and colours that will work for you and have an idea of the genre you are attracted to (modern, abstract, landscape, still life, expressionist, avant-garde). You also know how much you are prepared to spend. Art may be a luxury product but there are artworks to meet every budget. You probably intend to buy only one or two paintings, but if you are interested in art you could go on to buy a dozen over the next decade or two. You may be one of those rare individuals who are destined to become a serious ‘collector’ – only time will tell.

Perhaps you live in the countryside, outside of the city with its many commercial galleries. You may live in the city and be surrounded by them. It can be scary and intimidating, appearing to be ignorant, when seeking prices from staff who appear too busy to stop what they are doing. There are so many galleries and so many different types of art. It shouldn’t take forever to find a gallery, artist or artwork you like.

We are all comfortable buying clothes and books over the internet. Why not art?


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