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Rover (Julama) Thomas

Wolf Creek Crater - 1996

natural earth pigments on Belgian linen
61 x 91 cm 64 x 94 c
Price Realised: $20,740.00

MP #542


Warmun Traditional Artists, WA Cat No. RT0030
Private Collection, Vic

signed Rover verso
Accompanied by original Warmun authentication

Rover Thomas was born in Walmatjarri-Kukaja country near Well 33 on the Canning Stock Route and spent a lifetime travelling the stock routes of Australia’s far-north, before finally settling in Gija tribal country at Turkey Creek.

He became an artist in the late 1970s, at 50 years of age, and in time was acclaimed as a cultural leader and the seminal figure in establishing the East Kimberley painting movement. His paintings depict the places of his travels and their Dreaming stories and, in common with Central and Western Desert art, Rover’s work is familiarly characterised by an aerial, omnipotent perspective.

In this lovely small work, Rover Thomas re-imagines one of his favourite places on the edge of the Gibson Desert, the Wolf Creek Crater. Alongside it is one of the rare but reliable all-year-round springs to be found in the area. The crater itself abounds with Dreamtime myths and legends.

Rover’s paintings draw the viewer into spacious planes of painterly applied and textured ochre. In this work, the white dots serve only to create emphasis and draw the eye along pathways of time and movement, following the forms of the land in which important events are encoded. Warm and earthy ochres, along with the palpable sense of spirituality, invite the viewer to consider the unfolding of important events at this place, while at the same time placing the viewer within an ancient and timeless landscape.