Jirrawun Arts, WA Cat No. RR11-2007-137
Private Collection, NSW
Ramsey is a senior Gija lawman who, like his contemporary Paddy Bedford, began painting relatively late in life for Jirrawun Aboriginal Arts Corporation. His works convey the hills and gorges surrounding Elgee Cliffs, also known as Warlawoon Country, home to the Rock Wallabies that live around camping areas and near waterholes. Images of cliffs, hills, rocks, waterholes, and meeting places appear as distillations of prominent features in this landscape. A circle may be a waterhole, a place or a cave, a rectangle a stockyard or hills. He conveys this language of floodwater, natural and man-made elements by mixing two colours, wet on wet, across the surface of the board to create the gestural strokes and rhythm of the brush – spiritually a way to represent earth, wind, fire, and water.
According to Ramsey ‘When the strong wind comes blowing from the east it throws dust everywhere. It is a place for the rainbow snake, the dangerous one. In early days if people went there, the local people had to perform a welcoming ceremony, putting water from the country on them (the strangers). Lots of people would come to dance: Joonba style. My parents lived there.’Share