Tjigila Nada Rawlins

Creative People

Today our columnists Jessica Booth and Laetitia Prunetti of  profile artist Tjigila Nada Rawlins, a highly sought-after and idiosyncratic painter from northern Western Australia, who is working through .

Nada’s most recent landscape paintings have been created on Perspex. These vibrant, innovative works have garnered critical acclaim, and are represented in the , currently on show in Darwin.

14th September, 2017

Photograph of a dingo on the salt lakes of Warla, taken in the 1990s. Photo – .

 

Artwork by Nada Rawlins, ‘Linjalangu’ 2017, acrylic on perspex, 60 x 90cm. Photo: Mangkaja Arts.

Photo – .

Nada working on a Perspex work, 2017. Photo – .

Nada Rawlins painting with Mangkaja artists at Warla, 1996. Photo – .

Artworks by Nada Rawlins, left to right: ‘Yimirri’ 2017, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 90cm, and ‘Yimirri’ 2017, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 90cm. Photo – .

Historical image of Nada on a trip to Warla – the salt lakes in her country – in the 1990s. Photo – .

Nada in action at the Mangkaja Studio. Photo – .

Jessica Booth and Laetitia Prunetti of Willie Weston
Thursday 14th September 2017

Her paintings are distinctive, robust and highly saturated interpretations of her country.

‘I was born in the Great Sandy Desert. My mother never put me in a blanket. I never saw my father. We walked from the desert along the Canning Stock Route. We walked because we had no motorcar. We carried our swags on our heads,’ tells artist Tjigila Nada Rawlins in her artist statement for the  website.

To provide some context for this incredible account, the Canning Stock Route is almost 2,000 kilometres in length and traverses three deserts — the Great Sandy, the Little Sandy and the Gibson, in northern Western Australia. Tjigila Nada Rawlins is one of a generation of Indigenous people whose livelihoods have centred around understanding the elusive yet bountiful offerings of these hot, harsh, desert climates.

A highly sought-after and idiosyncratic painter, Nada works through Indigenous-owned and operated Mangkaja Arts in Fitzroy Crossing. Her paintings are distinctive, robust and highly saturated interpretations of her country.

Nada was born about 1936 near Kirriwirri, in the southern stretches of Wangkatjungka country. Nada’s family, traditional owners of this part of the desert, are expert at sourcing fresh water from the Percival lakes, a chain of warla (salt lakes) spanning hundreds of kilometres. Nada paints the warla, the jilas (living freshwater holes) and the jilji (sandhills). In conversation with her daughter, Nita, and Mangkaja Arts Director Jennifer Dickens, Nada explains that the stripes and long lines in her work represent ‘the places she walked with her family as a young girl’.

Nada’s career is long and varied. She began painting in the 1980s at Fitzroy Crossing’s Karrayili Adult Education Centre. When the Mangkaja Arts centre was built, she began working there, largely teaching herself through observation of other artists.

Recently Nada has begun experimenting with acrylic paint and paint pens on Perspex, with very exciting results. She won the Shinju Art Prize in Broome for her first piece on Perspex in 2016, and this year has another Perspex piece in the , currently on show at the .

Nada is now quite elderly, but her output belies this fact – she creates work with incredible energy and pulse. This dynamism seems borne out of her intimate knowledge of her country’s wealth and abundance. Speaking of one of her homeland’s key waterholes, as Nada explains on the  website: ‘This is Kirriwirri Jila… The water never dries up in this jila – this is living water’.

Nada Rawlins’ work is available through  Arts, as well as a number of commercial galleries including  (Melbourne),  (Victoria),  (Singapore) and  (Darwin).

Thanks to Nada’s daughter Nita Williams and Mangkaja Arts Director Jennifer Dickens, who sat down together to talk through these questions with Nada. Thanks also to Belinda Cook for her assistance with this piece.

Similar Stories

Creative People

Buying Indigenous Art

An informative introduction to navigating the Indigenous art market.
Jessica Booth and Laetitia Prunetti

Creative People

Margaret Rarru · 'Black is Beautiful'

Profiling the Madonna-loving artist creating incredible, contemporary manifestations of an enduring weaving practice.
Jessica Booth and Laetitia Prunetti

Creative People

Bugai Whyoulter

Profiling the Great Sandy Desert-based artist, ahead of current and upcoming exhibitions.
Jessica Booth and Laetitia Prunetti

This Week

Small Business

Knowing When To Call In The Experts, According To KeepCup

This Melbourne-born business has taken the world by storm, but they haven't gone it alone.
Fiona Killackey

Creative People

11 Great Craftspeople Who Can Make You A Table

A round-up of the best bespoke furniture makers and designers in Australia!
Lucy Feagins
  13 hours ago

News

Having A Nice Time!

The Melbourne pop-up plant and gift shop with a focus on plants and local makers.
Sally Tabart
  3 hours ago

Indigenous Art

A Joyful Exhibition Featuring Some Of Australia's Most Talented Indigenous Artists

A group exhibition and celebration of Australia's first Indigenous owned and operated gallery.

News

An Australian Christmas Story Takes Over Fed Square

Beci Orpin illustrates a distinctly Australian Christmas story in collaboration with creative film producers General Strike.
Sally Tabart

Art

An Exhibition of Modernist Suburban Homes, Painted In Brilliant Detail

Artist Robyn Sweaney looks back to the modernist homes of the 1960s, in a new exhibition at Arthouse Gallery in Sydney.

Every Painting Tells A Story

Uncovering The Hidden Symbolism In NGA's New Blockbuster: 'Love & Desire'

Our collaboration with National Gallery of Australia, celebrating their incredible new exhibition of Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces from London...

Food

Alice & Marlon's Amazing Wholegrain Mustard

WHO KNEW it was so easy to make your own mustard? SO much better than the store bought variety – think Xmas and summer BBQ crowdpleaser!
Alice Johnson
  5 hours ago

Architecture

A Home That Balances Mid-Century And Modern

Hindley & Co architects bring mid-century design into the 21st century with elegance and restraint, in Newtown, Victoria.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

A Concrete House In A Coastal Setting

Exploring Australian beachside Brutalism, with 'The Concrete House' by AuHaus in Torquay.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

A Home Designed For Connection

A dual occupancy sub-division results in a surprisingly roomy home for six (!) - the 'Connect Six' House in Brighton, by Whiting Architects....
Lucy Feagins
  3 hours ago

News

Frida Kahlo In Bendigo

An exclusive exhibition drawing on the archives of Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo’s former home, comes to Bendigo Art Gallery.
Elle Murrell

Regional

Surreal Scenes At Mountaintop Mushrooms

Our regional columnists discover a world of wonder inside an unassuming shed in South-East Queensland.
Karen Locke

News

A Zen Group Show In Sydney

Saint Cloche gallery celebrates the feeling of home with CASA, an end-of-year group exhibition.
Sally Tabart

News

ACCA’s Explosive New Program Of Reality-Warping Works

The first pieces commissioned by The Macfarlane Fund supporting emerging artists to create career-defining works.
Sponsored

Similar Stories

Creative People

Buying Indigenous Art

An informative introduction to navigating the Indigenous art market.
Jessica Booth and Laetitia Prunetti

Creative People

Margaret Rarru · 'Black is Beautiful'

Profiling the Madonna-loving artist creating incredible woven bags and garments.
Jessica Booth and Laetitia Prunetti

Creative People

Bugai Whyoulter

Profiling the Great Sandy Desert-based artist, ahead of current and upcoming exhibitions.
Jessica Booth and Laetitia Prunetti
https://progressive.ua

https://progressive.ua

https://best-cooler.reviews/