Phyllis (Booljoonngali) THOMAS: artist

Not On Display

About the work

Godwardah, 1998 is a fine example of Thomas’ early work and provides a counterpoint to other works within the Collection which include Thomas’ large eight-panel work, The escape, 2002. Thomas’ work covers a broad range of thematic narratives ranging from creation stories, celebrations of Country to depictions of tragic and often savage events that took place when non-Indigenous people first settled in the Kimberley. Godwardah, 1998, is a depiction and celebration of the artist’s traditional custodial country, the site of Purnululu. Typical of the east Kimberley aesthetic, in this work Thomas uses a selection of traditional ochre pigments in a palette of browns, blacks, reds and whites. In this cultural map Thomas depicts Purnululu in multiple modes, one looking down from an aerial perspective, and the other looking across the landscape in a more representation way. This unique way of seeing and depicting Country became commonly associated with the east Kimberley region after it was seen in the works of art produced by celebrated artists including Rover Thomas, Paddy Jaminji and Jack Britten, all of whom are represented in the State Art Collection.
Artist/Maker and role
Phyllis (Booljoonngali) THOMAS: artist
ochre and acrylic binder on linen
110.2 x 110.3 cm
Production place
Bow River Station (previously Greenvale Station), Northern Territory
Credit line
Gift of Jacquie McPhee under the Commonwealth Government's Cultural Gifts Program, The Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2011
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the paintings in our collection.