NCooee Art MarketPlace will present a boutique offering of 111 lots worth $1.4 million at its second stand alone auction on 29 May 2018

Cooee Art MarketPlace will present a boutique offering of 111 lots worth $1.4 million * at its second sand alone auction on 29 May 2018

The sale will include a rare 1880 work on paper by colonial period artist Tommy McRae and a large and important work by Aboriginal statesman Lin Onus, amongst a number of notable and historically important pieces.

Unique in the Cooee Art marketplace approach is the level of knowledge and scholarship applied to the presentation of these items of Australian visual and material culture.

Fish and Storm Clouds (Guyi Na Ngawalngawal), 1994, measuring 183 x 183 cm, by Lin Onus is expected to fetch over $350,000. Shown at ARCO in Madrid, it toured Europe during the early 2000s and depicts the artist’s spiritual homeland, the Bahmah Forest, reflected on the surface of a waterhole while haunting, almost translucent fish depicted in traditional cross-hatching, swim beneath reflections of trees and clouds. The tall spindly gum trees alongside the river and the white cumulus clouds overhead are exquisitely rendered within the still surface of the stream. This is a magical evocation the Dreamtime - that otherworldly and mystical space of Aboriginal myth and legend, where beyond the immediately apparent there reside other powerful stories and dimensions of being.

Nineteenth-century artist Tommy McRae lived and worked along Victoria’s upper Murray River area during the period that saw the disruption and ultimate end of traditional tribal life amongst the Aboriginal people of South-Eastern Australia. He was in his fifties and towards the end of this physically demanding work life when he began to draw consistently. A steady flow of interest and paid commissions followed. McRae was able to set up an independent camp for himself and family on the shores of Lake Moodemere, a large freshwater lake of ceremonial importance to his people. It is now well over a century since McRae created this captivating, lively and compelling work. Its rarity and fragility enhances its Ingenious beauty. The untitled work capturing ritually Fighting Figures carries a presale estimate of $40,000-50,000. 

Amongst the many fine contemporary works is a magnificent major work by Christine Yukenbarri, the daughter of two of the movement’s founding Balgo Hills artists Lucy Yukenbarri and Helicopter Joe Tjungurrayi.Christine has painted in the kinti-kinti (close-close) style of dotting pioneered by her mother. The canvas depicts her mother's country, Winpurpurla, south of Balgo, in the Great Sandy Desert. At its centre is Winpurpurla, a permanent waterhole where "living water" can be found throughout the year. The sandhills that dominate this country and surround the waterhole, are scattered with a delicious veil of seeds and bush fruits. This work is Christine’s largest and most accomplished painting. It’s pre-sale estimate is $24,000 - $28,000.

For more information on this sale, or to obtain high-resolution images of any of the works contact:


* Based on cumulative low estimates


Lin Onus

AIAM Rank 4 AIAM Rating 16.2912

Tommy McRae

AIAM Rank 26 AIAM Rating 5.4282
Winpurpurla by Christine Yukenbarri Nakamarra
Winpurpurla - 2010
Christine Yukenbarri Nakamarra 1

120.0 x 180.0 cm
MP #187 LOCATION: Bondi Beach

Untitled (fighting Figures)  by Tommy McRae
Untitled (fighting Figures) - c.1880
Tommy McRae

17.0 x 29.5 cm
MP #230

Fish and Storm Clouds (Guyi Na Ngawalngwal) by Lin Onus
Fish and Storm Clouds (Guyi Na Ngawalngwal) - 1994
Lin Onus 21

183.0 x 183.0 cm
MP #239