Nyoongar Dreaming

Christopher PEASE: artist

Not On Display

About the work

In Nyoongar Dreaming Pease has cleverly drawn upon a diversity of artistic references to create a tongue-in-cheek portrait of a young urban Nyoongar man, Peter Farmer. The nephew of Australian Rules Football great Graham 'Polly' Farmer, he stands resolutely, confidently smack bang in the middle of the road leading to the turnoff of the then unopened Graham Farmer Freeway in East Perth. The scene could be read as a claim for land rights or Native Title, with Peter Farmer standing 'solid', standing his ground, as the road sweeps off to the left, the arrow to the turnoff drawing the viewer's eye away from the subject towards the unknown.

The surrounding landscape is at once familiar to present-day Perth drivers and reminiscent of other urban and rural landscapes. The stance of Farmer, the urban desolation of bitumen, concrete, electrical wires, an empty building, new construction and the lack of foliage hint at the work of Jeffrey Smart, an artist Pease admires. The lurid, unnatural colours - green and yellow - particularly of the sky, bring to mind the Carrolup School of Nyoongar child artists, who first came to prominence in the 1950s - artists such as Revel Cooper, Reynold Hart, Keith Indich and Claude Kelly. The iconographic depictions of these artists' relationship to country formed the foundation of a new tradition of Nyoongar art from the South-west, represented in later works by the adult Cooper and more recent contemporaries such as Shane Pickett and Lance Chadd/Tjyllyungoo.
Nyoongar Dreaming
Artist/Maker and role
Christopher PEASE: artist
oil on canvas
114.2 x 147.4 cm
Credit line
Purchased 2001
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the paintings in our collection.