Direct from the artist, SA
During summer on very hot days us boys from Colebrook would put togs on under our clothes and hike about 3 miles to swimming holes lower down on Sturt Creek, our pools consisted of the 5,7,8 and 9 footers. At each pool, you could see the yabbies and trout played as gentle waterfalls pushed clear water from one pool to another. Sometimes while there we would be joined by a man from the nearby Craigburn Mentally Disabled Farm whom we named “Cocky” because of the loud shrieking noises bouncing off the walls of the gorge he would make from miles away, Cocky always had knee-high rubber boots on which came up to his shorts. He would let out a shriek and launch from the 9 footer’s overhanging diving rock, boots and all.
Born in 1954 to a Ngurrindjeri woman of the Tangani people from the Coorong in South Australia, and a Czechoslovakian father from Prague, Jacob Stengle was taken from his mother when 3 years old and became part of South Australia's 'Stolen Generation'. He was placed in the United Aborigines Mission’s Colebrook Home, in Eden Hills, SA.
Having shown a great talent for visual art from an early age he immersed himself in it as a means of escaping the harsh realities of life under the guidance of one of the superintendents at the home, who was a practicing oil painter. Over the following 45 years, Jacob supported himself through painting. A chance meeting with the London-born painter of Dreaming stories, Ainslie Roberts, began a lifelong friendship through which Jacob met a circle of practicing artists while he lived as an itinerant drifter.
His works have been exhibited in 5 solo exhibitions since 1985 and 4 group shows since 2009, principally through the Tandanya Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide and during this time he has been a finalist in the National Aboriginal Art Award and the National Heritage Art Award.Share
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