• ARTISTS

          Cooee Art has built long-term relationships with Aboriginal and First Nations artists and their not for profit art centres since 1981.

          Our gallery team travels regularly to remote areas of Australia to meet with artists and develop our exhibition program.

        • Auction Artists

          Cooee Art Auctions works with artists bi-annually across two separate departments – Indigenous Fine Art and Modern & Contemporary Fine Art.

          Read through the profiles and market analysis for the top 200 Indigenous artists

        • SHOP ARTWORKS

          Cooee Art curates ethically sourced art from Australian Indigenous communities that we have formed relationships with for 40 years.

          Our gallery team travels regularly to remote areas of Australia to meet with artists to consign artworks.

        • New Arrivals

          Cooee Art gallery artworks arrive in our online shop and our gallery spaces weekly.

          Shop new arrivals that coincide with our monthly exhibition program.

        • All Artworks

          Shop online from the full portfolio of available Cooee Art artworks – paintings, sculptures, fine art prints and artisanal objects ranging from $100 – $500k.

        • EXHIBITIONS

          Cooee Art was established in 1981 and is Australia’s oldest exhibiting Indigenous art gallery. 

          The gallery has presented the finest Aboriginal and First Nations art through their exhibition program for over 40 years showing the work of over 150 individual artists.

          The Cooee Art stockroom includes contemporary Aboriginal paintings, rare bark paintings and artefacts, early desert boards and acrylic paintings as well as sculpture and limited edition fine art prints.

        • Current

          Cooee Art presents monthly solo and group exhibitions in the Paddington gallery supported by public programs including artist talks and workshops.

        • Future

          Explore forthcoming exhibitions in the Cooee Art galleries and our special event program.

        • AUCTIONS

          Cooee Art Auctions provide an informed and professional approach to buying and selling art in the secondary market. We are a market leader with specialist knowledge and proven results. 

          We offer collectable Australian and International artworks for sale by auction and private treaty. 

          Cooee Art Auctions work with artists, galleries, museums and private collections bi-annually to curate and consign artworks across two separate departments – Indigenous Fine Art and Modern & Contemporary Fine Art.

          Our auctions and previews for potential buyers and collectors are presented in the Cooee Art premium 480sqm hybrid gallery and auction space in Paddington. 

        • Indigenous Fine Art

          Cooee Art Auctions offers bi-annual auctions of significant and highly-collectible Australian Indigenous artworks.

          Our Art Market Analytics provides comprehensive artist profiles and market analytics on Australia’s 200 most important Aboriginal artists.

        • Modern & Contemporary Fine Art

          Introducing Modern and Contemporary Australian and international art.

          We seek to establish new benchmarks for pricing and documentation for artists in the secondary art market

        • Art Market Analytics

          Cooee Art has created a comprehensive art market analytics tool with easy navigation. The information we provide is designed to be an invaluable resource for art consultants, valuers, and industry professionals and to serve the interests of artists, galleries, institutions, art centres, collectors and researchers.

        • Artist Profiles

          Each artist is ranked according to their career, and annual artist ranking index. Detailed profiles, market analysis and performance indicators are provided for a growing list of artists along with the artworks that have achieved their ten highest results at auction.

        • Current Indigenous Art Market

          Provides professional advice on the Indigenous art market in line with other investment categories, thereby serving the interests of artists, galleries and collectors.

        • Consultancy

          The Cooee Art team has been providing expert advice for over 40 years in a Consultancy capacity to offer a breadth of services for the business side of art.

        • Valuations

          Cooee Art Founding Director Adrian Newstead OAM has more than 20 years experience in valuing Aboriginal art and artefacts (pre-contact to Contemporary).

        • EXHIBITION AND EVENT MANAGEMENT

          Cooee Art curates and coordinates exhibitions on behalf of charitable organisations, commercial businesses and galleries in Australia and overseas utilising its extensive contacts with individual artists, artists’ agents, galleries and important private and public collections.

        • ABOUT

          Cooee Art was originally established in 1981 and runs a hybrid art model to represent and support artists in an ethical and sustainable way. We have two galleries, our flagship gallery in the heart of Aboriginal Sydney in Redfern and a boutique showroom gallery in Australia’s iconic Bondi Beach along with a seperate fine art auction wing, Cooee Art Auctions established in 2017. Cooee is now Australia’s oldest exhibiting Indigenous art gallery. Since first working with Australian Aboriginal artists in 1981, we have presented the finest First Nations art through exhibitions and events in Australia, Europe, and the Americas.

  • Contact

Cooee Art foremost acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, as the traditional owners and custodians of the unceded land and waters on which we work and reside.

ABORIGINAL FINE ART GALLERY, PURCHASE AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS ART, CONTEMPORARY AND ABORIGINAL ART FOR SALE – SYDNEY

Price and availability are subject to change at the gallery’s discretion. While we try to ensure the accuracy of all data across the website, Cooee Art reserves the right to cancel a sale due to price change.

The artist holds the copyright for all images throughout the website and must not be reused or reproduced in any way without explicit permission.

© COOEE ART 1981 – 2021

Exhibitions

Mum Shirl | Black Saint of Paddington

From 4 to 27 July 2019 | Cooee Art Gallery Paddington 326 Oxford Street, Paddington, NSW

The exhibition of historic paintings by artist Gordon Syron and limited edition photographs by his wife and partner, Elaine Syron, celebrate the life of Coleen Shirley Perry Smith AM MBE, better known as Mum Shirl – Black Saint of Paddington.

It is now 21 years since Shirley Smith (Mum Shirl) died, and a fitting time to celebrate her extraordinary life.
Mum Shirl is remembered as a straight talker with an astute ability to read people and an unwavering sense of justice. To those in need she was a woman of boundless compassion, courage and optimism, who had time for everyone. This exhibition has been curated to celebrate and to remember Mum Shirl’s memory and many achievements.
She is revered amongst Aboriginal people as the Black Saint of Paddington.
Mum Shirl was a towering presence in Paddington. Not only because of her huge and commanding personality, ‘queenly’ confidence and physical presence. It was her energy and urgency of purpose in the service of people in need and the victims of injustice that defined her.
She was seemingly intimidated by no-one and demanded the same attention from prison super-intendents, bishops and politicians as she did from the numerous homeless children who lived under her roof. She never gave any indication that she cared about her own needs: she was always moving, always generous, always available to others.
Mum Shirl (Coleen Shirley Perry Smith), was born in 1921 at Erambie Mission near Cowra, New South Wales and lived there until her Grandfather was expelled from the mission when she was six. Because of her epilepsy, Shirley had no schooling…
[and] could not read or write, but would talk at length about how she was ‘schooled’ in Aboriginal culture, language and precious knowledge, which needed to be passed onto everyone who would listen…
She married young and moved to Kempsey to live with her husband’s family when she was pregnant but returned to Sydney as the local hospital was segregated. Though her daughter, Beatrice, and husband later returned to Kempsey, Shirley stayed and spent the remainder of her life in Sydney’s inner west, working mainly in Paddington, the hub of Aboriginal political activism.
She settled in Paddington and joined the Catholic church where she met the legendary Father Ted Kennedy. Together they ran the Sunday morning service and often Mum Shirl would stand and tell, in detail, of a family getting evicted or in desperate need of assistance. With the help she enlisted she often assisted all sorts of people and children, never discriminating between black or white…
Deeply immersed in the struggle for equal rights for Aboriginal people, Mum Shirl met regularly with young leaders and activists…She assisted the Police to settle disputes among families and groups and to calm down situations which could end in violence. Calls for help often came in the middle of the night and she was in such demand that she was put under great stress. Her work in the jails saw her involved in The Royal Commission into Prisons and later The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
Mum Shirl was given a State Funeral at St Mary’s Cathedral in 1998. In November 1999, a year after her death and on the 78th anniversary of her birthday, an ordinary seat outside St Vincent’s church in Paddington Street, Paddington, was installed under a plaque on the church façade. The engraved-metal portrait of her has a text that reads: ‘In celebration of the life of Mum Shirl, the black saint of Paddington who gave aid and comfort to all who asked’.
Today her spirit lives on in Paddington as brightly as it did during her lifetime and will do so for as long as the Aboriginal struggle for justice prevails. A woman of magisterial presence and influence, Shirley was, in her time, the most famous and well-known Indigenous figure in the inner-city. Her generosity and influence touched people, regardless of race, in Sydney, across New South Wales and throughout Australia.

Sort by
Sort the display of artworks by selecting from the dropdown selection here
Mum Shirl - 2000
Gordon Syron 28 Number of 'Avaialable Artworks' by this artist. Click button to view.

183.0 x 270.0 cm #17685  $60,000

View artwork
Your Move II - 2014
Gordon Syron 0

150 x 100 cm #17684  $12,500

View artwork
Bend in the River - 19972004
Gordon Syron 0

93 x 68 cm #17704  $6,000

View artwork
The Massacre - Clearing The Land of Flora and Fauna - 1998
Gordon Syron 0

133 x 88 cm #17682 

View artwork
And They Never Ask Us For Our Land - 2011
Gordon Syron 0

50x30 cm #10108  $3,500

View artwork
I Won't Do Your Dirty Deeds - 1981
Elaine Pelot-Syron 0

140 x 99.5 cm #17680  $3,500

View artwork
A Portrait of Mum Shirl at the Aboriginal Legal Service Opening - 1984
Elaine Pelot-Syron 0

127 x 102 cm #17681  $2,750

View artwork
The Dreaming Man of Paddington - 2015
Gordon Syron 0

56 x 76cm #14033  $2,500

View artwork
Balance of Power - 1998
Gordon Syron 0

44 x 60 cm #17683  $2,200

View artwork
David Gulpilil / - 1988
Gordon Syron 0

140.0 x 94.0 cm #17706  $2,000

View artwork
Untitled (Red Coat) - 2013
Gordon Syron 0

60 x 60cm #11351  $1,800

View artwork
Leading the March - 1990
Elaine Pelot-Syron 0

83 x 59 x 59.0 cm #17677  $1,800

View artwork
REDFERN GALLERY

17 Thurlow Street,
Redfern, NSW, 2016

p. +61 (02) 9300 9233
Opening Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 10am till 5pm

BONDI BEACH GALLERY

31 Lamrock Avenue
Bondi Beach, NSW 2026

p. +61 (02) 9300 9233
Opening Hours:
Open by appointment

Cooee Art foremost acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, as the traditional owners and custodians of the unceded land and waters on which we work and reside.

ABORIGINAL FINE ART GALLERY, PURCHASE AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS ART, CONTEMPORARY AND ABORIGINAL ART FOR SALE – SYDNEY

Price and availability are subject to change at the gallery’s discretion. While we try to ensure the accuracy of all data across the website, Cooee Art reserves the right to cancel a sale due to price change.

The artist holds the copyright for all images throughout the website and must not be reused or reproduced in any way without explicit permission.

© COOEE ART 1981 – 2021

Cooee Art foremost acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, as the traditional owners and custodians of the unceded land and waters on which we work and reside.

ABORIGINAL FINE ART GALLERY, PURCHASE AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS ART, CONTEMPORARY AND ABORIGINAL ART FOR SALE – SYDNEY

Price and availability are subject to change at the gallery’s discretion. While we try to ensure the accuracy of all data across the website, Cooee Art reserves the right to cancel a sale due to price change.

The artist holds the copyright for all images throughout the website and must not be reused or reproduced in any way without explicit permission.

© COOEE ART 1981 – 2021