Mirdidingkingathi JUWARNDA (Mrs GABORI)

Kaiadilt people

Australia 1922 /1926 – 2015

Nyinyilki 2009 Place made: Mornington Island, Queensland, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, synthetic polymer paint on canvas

Dimensions: overall 1975 h x 6065 w x 50 d mm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2011
Accession No: NGA 2011.12
Image rights: Courtesy the artist, Mornington Island Art, Queensland and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
  • Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Sally Gabori) is a senior Kaiadilt woman who spent the early part of her life learning about her father’s and grandfather’s country and the ancient traditions associated with the land. Gabori’s Aboriginal name relates to her totem: Mirdidingkingathi refers to the place of her birth, Mirdidingki, and Juwarnda means ‘black dolphin’.

    After a lifetime of weaving and producing fibre craft, Gabori began to paint when she was in her early 80s. Her epic paintings are expressive, emotive and gestural representations of her country, of islands and the sea. There is energy and rhythm in her bold use of colour combinations—reds, blues, pinks (her favourites), white and black—applied with sweeping brushstrokes overlaying solid masses of colour that capture the essence of her island homeland, which is central to her art practice.

    Gabori describes Nyinyilki: ‘My painting is called Nyinyilki. This is what we also call Mainbase. My painting shows the dirty water that the dugongs make when they are feeding.’

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2014
    From: Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2014