Wangkul Junction - Wulangkuya

Rover THOMAS: artist

Not On Display

About the work

National recognition of this leading Kimberley artist came in 1990, when his works and those of Trevor Nickolls were chosen to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale exhibition. From the time that his paintings first emerged the mid-1980s, their raw ochre surfaces and minimal linear composition attracted widespread interest and a unanimous critical response. His experiences in creating the 1975 Gurirr Gurirr ceremony, which combined songs, dances and small dancing boards painted by his uncle Paddy Tjamitji, formed a significant stage in his early development as an artist.

While his paintings produced in the next decade show an undeniable influence from Tjamitji, Rover Thomas's work, in both scale and treatment, is instantly recognisable. Whether the composition is of a secular landscape feature such as in the painting Wangkul Junction - Wulangkuya, which depicts an aerial view of the Turkey Creek township, or of a particular sacred site in the surrounding countryside, Thomas injects into his canvases a powerful energy that prompts instant comparison with the resonating 'emptiness' of the work of American abstract expressionist Mark Rothko. Thomas's profound encounter wtith the Kimberley landscape as a stockman remains, part of the fascinating tale of the unconventional pathways followed by Aboriginal artists in their search to maintain and communicate a contemporary spiritual reading of their country's landscape.
Wangkul Junction - Wulangkuya
Artist/Maker and role
Rover THOMAS: artist
ochre and gum on canvas
89.9 x 180.2 cm (sight)
Credit line
Purchased 1988
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the paintings in our collection.


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