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Jan Billycan

Untitled - 2009

synthetic polymer paint and natural earth pigments on plywood panel
90.0 x 60.0 cm
Price Realised: $4,148.00

MP #351


Short Street Gallery, WA, Cat No. 26637
Private Collection, Tas

Artwork 90 x 60 cm : Frame 94 x 64 cm

During the last years of her life, Jan Billycan (aka Djan Nanundie) depicted the country of her birthplace, Kirriwirri and other sites in Ilyarra country. This is a land of spreading mud flats, gleaming salt lakes and a life-giving network of freshwater springs with their source deep underground. It was the home of the Yulparija people, deep in the Great Sandy Desert, before drought and mining caused the environmental catastrophe that drove them to the coastal refuge of Bidyadanga south of Broome. Following a time of grief and exile a new art movement flourished and Jan, a respected Marpan, or medicine woman, became a leading light.


This painting, an expression of her unique and startling talent, depicts the birth place of her father's clan. There is a big warla (mud flat) at this place in the Great Sandy Desert close to and west of Well 33 on the Canning Stock Route.

In 2011 Jan Billycan won the West Australian Indigenous Art Award at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth.