Jirrawun Arts, WA Cat No. PB-WB-2003-125
The Estate of Paddy Bedford, WA
William Mora Galleries, Vic
Private Collection, Qld
Paddy Bedford was born at Bedford Downs Station in the east Kimberley c.1922. Like many of his Gidja countrymen, Bedford worked as a stockman for the majority of his life in return for rations of tea, flour and tobacco.
Though he had been involved with ceremonial painting all his life, it was by chance that a gallery dealer happened upon some of his boards in a rubbish tip in the mid 1990s. From such humble beginnings Paddy began painting formally in 1997, with the formation of Jirrawun Aboriginal Arts.
Over the following decade his painting style developed from simple expanses of flat ochre to masterful luminous textured surfaces. His health and dexterity at various times dictated the medium in which he worked. Introduced to gouache and paper after 2000, he created intimate works that were equally successful as those depicted in ochres. In both mediums his paintings are imbued with authority and an absolutely distinctive individual language within the east Kimberley conventions.
Paddy Bedford, an enigmatic octogenarian, stood out as a uniquely talented artist. He was amongst the few selected to contribute to the permanent installation at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris and was honoured, during his lifetime, with the unprecedented recognition of a retrospective exhibition and a major catalogue by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney during 2007, which toured nationally.Share