Matwanangu, near Sturt Creek, Western Australia, Australia born 1935
2001 Description: series of dotted vertical bands, curved motifs branching from left vertical
Place made: Balgo, Western Australia, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, synthetic polymer paint on linen
Boxer Milner (Milnga Milnga) is a river man. His life and art were born of the ebb and flow of Sturt Creek, which courses into the northern fringes of the Great Sandy Desert. Milnga Milnga was born on its banks and spent his early life as a stockman working cattle on Sturt Creek station. When he was too old to work the river country he turned his huge hands to painting it.
Walyarra 2001 depicts the flooding of the region during the wet season and the transformations of the landscape that follow. The blue hook-forms show the kiliki (creeks) that are created, while the angular central meander shows the ‘milk-water’ phase, when the river waters are clouded by the white clay soils flowing down from its northern banks.
Boxer’s nuanced use of colour evokes the very sand and soil of his country. He animates the land by placing dots on top of dots to create sculpted peaks which, in a field of subtly shaded yellows or blues, catch the light and recreate the depths of the river country. The channels between these dotted fields appear carved into a shimmering surface, like engravings, or waterways through the land itself.
Walyarra is a painting of country in flux, of land shaped by water, and of the shapes that remain as story when the water dries up. This dynamic, transformative quality of the country was Boxer’s artistic muse as he sought to bring his intimate knowledge of the nexus between ecological and ancestral forces to life through the possibilities of paint.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Franchesca Cubillo and Wally Caruana (eds) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art: collection highlights National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2010
博克斯尔·米尔纳 (Boxer MILNER)
120.0(高) x 80.0(宽) 厘米
博克斯尔·米尔纳(米尔恩加·米尔恩加[Milnga Milnga])靠在内陆河上跑船谋生。斯德特溪(Sturt Creek)蜿蜒流入大沙沙漠北部边沿地区，溪水的涨落孕育了他的人生和艺术。米尔恩加·米尔恩加出生于溪边，早年在斯德特溪农场当牧牛人。到他年长无法继续在河乡谋生之际，硕大的双手拿起了画笔。
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra