Field Collected Mowanjum Community, 1984
Private Collection, Vic
For much of his adult life, Rover Thomas worked on cattle stations situated on the fringes of the Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts, including Bow River station where he was married for the first time. Later he worked at Texas Downs, Old Lissadel and Mabel Downs, adjacent to the Warmun community at Turkey Creek, where he settled in his later years. Rover began painting in the late 1970s encouraged by his uncle Paddy Jaminji, who was born at Bedford Downs Station.
This early work on plywood depicts Wati Kudjarra, flat top mountains from Balgo across the Great Sandy Desert to Well 33 on the Canning Stock Route, Rover’s birthplace.
The work was collected on an early field trip, where it was found in a demountable building in the Mowanjum community. It is believed that this and other boards that accompanied it were brought to Mowanjum to be used in a dance ceremony in the early 1980s. A collection of them were purchased from David Mowaljarlai and other community members at the time.Share