Virtual Exhibition

Small ones Big ones

SMALL ONES BIG ONES

LIFE NEAR THE RIVER

Dorothy and Annette paint from Mangkaja Arts, located in Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia. With their unique approach to painting, including Mangkaja’s celebrated paintings on polycarbonate (Perspex) as well as paintings on canvas, Dorothy and Annette’s brightly coloured, playful representations of barramundi, sawfish, hunting scenes, and billabong birds capture memories inspired by life near the river.

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DOROTHY FORREST

My name is Dorothy Forrest I live in Kunangi Community. I was born in Derby hospital in 1961.I grew up in Jubilee Down Station where my mum and dad used to work. I am 58 years old. Now that I am an artist. My dad Alec told me stories about his country side Kuninarra. My dad was a Walmajarri elder. The man who walk the country mile from Canning Stock Route. Now that some of this art that I’m painting when I flew over from Sydney to Broome with Qantas, I saw the country down below. I saw the two lakes so I decided to paint the pictures he was telling me about.

ANNETTE LORMADA

Hi my name is Annette Lormada. My bush name is Bingarli.  I was born in Fitzroy Crossing Hospital 19/1/1963 and speak two languages Walmajarri and Nyikina.  I grew up in Fitzroy and started going to Fitzroy Crossing primary school then high School.  After finishing school, I worked as an shop keeper at the UAM mission store living in Junjuwa then I moved to Nookanbah where I worked at the shop in 1990 and and a home maker.  My Mum and Dad told me stories about the two dogs, that’s why l paint my dreaming. Now I’m on Dialysis but l still know my stories that’s why l paint’.

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MANGKAJA ARTS

Mangkaja Arts began as an arm of Karrayili Adult Education Centre, first established in 1981 for local people who wanted to learn the English language. The initiative, led by the local men, provided a place where people could study and paint their personal stories, bush trips and histories. The artists began to sell their work from a building constructed threateningly close to the highway, on the main thoroughfare past the town. Artists worked with very few resources and travellers bargained directly with the producers of the works. 

Mangkaja, a Walmajarri word for the ëwet weather sheltersí erected by the Walmajarri people in the Great Sandy Desert during the wet season, was named by one of the art centre’s founding members Kumanjayi (deceased) Skipper. The echidna in the Mangkaja Arts logo was Kumanjayi Skipper’s totem.

Today the art centre is located in the centre of Fitzroy Crossing and functions as a fine art gallery, specialty store and a studio space for the artists to paint and make cultural artefacts.

Learn more about Mangkaja Arts