Narrungunny Art Traders, WA Cat No. N-0310-RTJB
Private Collection, WA
Accompanied by a certificate including a photo of Jack Britten and Rover Thomas holding the artwork together
Rover Tjomas was born at Koonawaratji, near Well 33 on the Canning Stock Route in the Western Desert region of Western Australia. He lived ‘the old way’ in the bush, hunting and gathering desert food with his family. At that time, Gudiyas (white people), usually drovers, would take young boys for work on Kimberley cattle stations. At 11 years of age, Rover was taken by the drover Wally Dowling to Bililuna at the top of the Canning Stock Route, and then to Bow River and Texas Downs near Warmun, where he learned his droving and fencing skills. He underwent tribal initiation and was given his skin name, Joolama, in the East Kimberley region, far to the north of his own country. Rover initiated the East Kimberley painting movement in the late 1970s.
Jack Britten was born and raised in the bush in the lands to the south of Turkey Creek, west of the Bungle Bungles. At the time this work was created, he lived nearby at the tiny community of Frog Hollow. He remembered watching the camel wagon trains, with their Afghan drivers with supplies for the outstations, and the excitement of his first encounter with a motor vehicle. His horsemanship was legendary as he worked as a stockman on many East Kimberley pastoral leases, including Mabel Downs, Bow River, Lissadell, Texas Downs, and the old Bungle Bungles and Tickalara Cattle Stations. Jack’s knowledge of the myths and legends of the Dreamtime (Narrangunny) was vast and enabled him to produce hundreds of canvasses depicting his country.
In this charming work on arches cotton rag paper, these two masters depict the dancers seen at Turkey Creek corroborees, conducted under moonlight. The men hold boomerangs as they dance, clapping in time with the rhythm of the music. Their bodies, faces, and tall headdresses are decorated with designs of white clay, illuminated by the fire at night.Share