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Queenie McKenzie Nakarra

Set of 10 images depicting aspects of Old Texas - 1997

natural earth pigments on canvas boards
20.0 x 30.0 cm
EST. $15,000 - $20,000

LOT #35


Narrangunny Art Traders, WA Cat Nos. QM101-110
Private Collection, WA


All 10 works bear catalogue number and artist's signature verso.
Image of the artist holding each artwork

Artworks 20 x 30 cm each : Frame 30 x 40 cm each

In this lovely set of 10 small works Queenie McKenzie has painted sites in the country of her childhood and early working life on Old Texas Station where the rocky hills are seen as separate forms on the edge of the desert plain. The sites depicted are Bililyerinbee, Buffalo Hole, Boonjoorji, Woolwoolji, Wooljing, Diamond Mine, Boolmowen, Top Country, Eagle Hawk Dreaming, and Eagle Hawk Hill.


'I bin born Old Texas, dat called Salt Pan country. Salt water you gotta drinkim'. No more goodfella water, all salt – bitter. I bin born la dat country.'*

Queenie spent her childhood and much of her adult life working as a goat herder and later as a cook in the mustering camps of Texas Downs. Cattle were mustered at the station and driven across to the abattoirs at Wyndham. The hills of Old Texas are a good place to collect the white quartz used for spearheads,

'Dat white stone from the hill, they break 'im up for spear. Good spear dat one.'*

She died in 1998, the year the Warmun art centre was formerly established. In an interview towards the end of her life she reminded us that the only word she had ever learnt to read and write was her own name, as it was required to sign her paintings. Yet she was, in her lifetime and is still to this day, recognised as a spiritual and cultural icon, whose commitment to art has left an indelible impact on Australian history and culture.

*Jennifer Joi Field, Witten in the Land, The Life Of Queenie McKenzie, Melbourne Books, 2008