William Mora Galleries

Paddy Bedford Selection

Gernawarliyan - Camel Gap
2001, natural ochres on linen, 122 x 135 cm

Jack Flood
2001, natural ochres on linen, 122 x 135 cm

Red Pocket
2001, natural ochres on linen, 122 x 135 cm

Jawoorraban (Cockatoo Dreaming)
2000, natural ochres on linen, 180 x 150 cm

Meerewoon Country
2000, natural ochres on linen, 180 x 150 cm

Rockhole
2000, natural ochres on board, 60 x 189 cm

Currently selected image

Biographical information

Nyunkuny, commonly known by his nick name "Kuwumji" and also by his "gardiya" name Paddy Bedford, is a Gija law man of Jawalyi skin who was born at Bedford Downs Station in the East Kimberley around 1922. A couple of years before his birth, a group of his Gija relations had been murdered by strychnine poisoning in retaliation for the killing of one milking cow near Mt King, an emu dreaming place to the west. People moved out to the government station at Violet Valley but by the time of the artist's birth had been persuaded to return to work at Bedford Downs. When young he worked as a stockman for the usual tea, flour and tobacco on old Greenvale and Bow River Stations before returning to work on Bedford Downs. He and his family left Bedford Downs and moved to Warmun (Warrmarn - Turkey Creek) when a station manager killed all the camp dogs.

As a senior law man, he has been involved in painting as part of ceremony all his life. He began painting on canvas for exhibition after Freddie Timms set up the Jirrawun Aboriginal Art group at Rugun (Crocodile Hole) in 1997. His work in the "Turkey Creek" style with expanses of plain ochre with a few well-chosen shapes and sparse lines marked by white dots, depicts the bones of the landscape in which he has spent a life time. His paintings combine important family dreamings, such as emu, turkey and cockatoo with roads, rivers, the living areas for traditional life and stock camp life, stock yards and country visited while mustering. He has been hailed as the "new" Rover Thomas, although he was born a few years before him.

Awards/Exhibitions

Paddy has held around six solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Darwin. Other exhibitions include:

Collections

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; private collections in Australia and overseas

Selected bibliography

"Australia's 50 Most Collectable Artists", Australian Art Collector, Issue 15, Jan-March 2001, p 62

FLANAGAN, Martin, "More than a passing knowledge", The Age, 30/11/1998

 

Paddy Bedford Estate §

 

60 Tanner St., Richmond VIC 3121, Australia
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