Peggy GRIFFITHS: artist

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On Display

About the work

Residing on her traditional Country, in the Keep River Naional park, N.T., Griffiths daily awakens to a magnificent landscape. Through her arts practice she responds to this environment and her place within it; its subtle transitions and spiritual connections Her elegant yet powerful imagery documents the custodianship handed to her by her mother and grandfather.

Displayed vertically down a wall ending curved on a plinth, the artist takes the viewer on a journey across her vast traditional Country, in this instance, over an area called Jemarim. During the wet season, the fruit of Jilinybeng (bush cucumber) encases the land and is an important source of bush tucker for its vitamin C. Peggy, her family, and her ancestors have always gathered this bush food, along with many others, as symbolised by the rust coloured lamboong (coolamon) positioned opposite the Jilinybeng. Peggy’s mother Dinah, grew up walking across her Country collecting bush foods with lamboong until her people were forced to work on Newry Station. Even so, this traditional knowledge was passed down to the artist who continues to pass on her knowledge to her children and grandchildren.

The Keep River sinds through her changing Country. As the land dries out and the fine flecking of spinifex takes over, the river system travel through gorges, past hills and major Ngarranggarrning sites. The gracious brush work and delicate ochre colours shimmer across the surface. The work comes together with a ceramic lamboong positioned on the plinth, on the artwork, echoing the importance of her Country in sustaining her people both functionally and spiritually. Both mediums encompass her profound knowledge of Country, cuture and her peoples stories of survival.

"The old people used to paint their Country on caes, now I'm doing it on paper and on clay I carry on culture and pass it on.. I paint my Ngarang (Dreaming)."
Artist/Maker and role
Peggy GRIFFITHS: artist
natural pigment on paper, glazed ceramic
325.0 x 114.0 cm
Display location
Credit line
Purchased through The Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation: COVID-19 Arts Stimulus Package, 2021
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the installations in our collection.