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Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art
The Kimberley gallery See nearby items (accurate to +/- 12 hrs)
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Rover THOMAS [JOOLAMA]

Kukatja/Wangkajunga peoples

Australia 1926 /1928 – 1998

Roads meeting 1987 Place made: Warmun (Turkey Creek), Kimberley, Western Australia, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, natural earth pigments and binder on canvas

Dimensions: 90 h x 180 w cm framed (overall) 920 h x 1820 w x 65 d mm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1988
Accession No: NGA 88.1539
Image rights: © the artist's estate, courtesy Warmun Art Centre

MORE DETAIL

  • The Kimberley area in the north west of Australia ranges from monumental rock formations in the east to the place where the desert meets the sea in the west. In about 1980, a school of painting emerged in the eastern Kimberley of which Thomas was the leading figure.

    Rover Thomas was born in the Great Sandy Desert. At the age of 10 he moved with his family to the Kimberley’s where, as was usual at the time, he began work as a stockman. During the 1940s he was initiated into traditional law. His experience of growing up in the region was common to the vast majority of Aboriginal people of the Kimberley and adjacent areas. Europeans settled in the region late in the 19th century, first to mine gold and then to raise cattle. After many years of conflict, Aboriginal people were forced to work for the recently arrived ranch owners. Despite these circumstances, many Aboriginal people kept the connection with their ancestral lands where they were able to conduct ceremonies and continue traditional beliefs.

    The upper dark brown strip across the canvas is the bitumen highway with the lighter reddish brown line under this is the gravel road. The two hands represent the stop signs at the meeting of these roads.


    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010

  • Rover Thomas produced some of the most pivotal paintings relating to ancestral stories and major historical events in the eastern Kimberley. Although he did not paint for the market until 1982, his work exploded onto the art world and his skills and talent as a painter were instantly recognised. Notably, in 1990 he and Trevor Nickolls were the first Aboriginal artists to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale.

    Thomas’s bold compositions, full of earthy textures and deep, rich, large blocks of colour, redefined the framework of what was considered to be Aboriginal painting at the time. Thomas depicted the landscape in innovative ways that would become the basis of the East Kimberley school of painting.

    Roads meeting 1987 is an analogy for the coming together of two cultures in Australia: the red dirt track represents the paths of the ancestral beings and the original inhabitants, and the black bitumen road that of the new settlers. Hand stencils such as the ones in the painting are commonly found in rock paintings in the region and throughout Australia. In his description of the work, Thomas refers to them as stop signs.

    This painting was reproduced on an official government poster promoting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in 1999.

    Tina Baum


    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

  • Rover Thomas produced pivotal paintings relating to ancestral stories and major historical events in the Eastern Kimberley region of Western Australia. Although he did not paint for the market until 1982, his work exploded onto the art world and his skills and creative talent as a painter were instantly recognised. Notably, in 1990 Thomas and Trevor Nickolls were the first Aboriginal artists to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale.

    Thomas's bold compositions, full of earthy textures and deep, rich blocks of colour, redefined the framework of what was then considered to be Aboriginal painting. He depicted the landscape in innovative ways that would become the basis of the East Kimberley school of painting. Roads meeting is an analogy for the coming together of two cultures in Australia: the red dirt track represents the paths of the ancestral beings and the original inhabitants; the black bitumen road refers to the new settlers. The hand stencils in the painting are commonly found in rock art sites of the region and throughout Australia. In his description of the work, Thomas refers to the outstretched hands as stop signs.

    This painting was reproduced on an official Australian Government poster promoting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in 1993—the United Nations International Year of the World’s Indigenous People.


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

  • 罗夫·托马斯[朱拉马] (Rover Thomas [Joolama])
    《道路交汇》(Roads meeting) 1987年
    澳大利亚西澳大利亚州金伯利瓦尔芒(土耳其溪)
    绘画,帆布材料,天然颜料和粘合剂
    90 (高) x 180 (宽)厘米
    920 (高) x 1820 (宽) x 65 (深)毫米
    1988年购买
    收录号:NGA 88.1539
    © 艺术家不动产,瓦尔芒艺术中心特许

    关于祖先故事和东金伯利重大历史事件,罗夫·托马斯创作的一些画作举足轻重。虽然直至1982年才开始创作商业画,但作品在艺术界引起了爆炸性轰动,其画技与才华立即受到追捧。尤其是在1990年,他和特雷弗·尼克尔斯(Trevor Nickolls )成为了首次代表澳大利亚参加威尼斯国际艺术双年展的土著艺术家(Venice Biennale)。

    托马斯的绘画构图大胆,富有泥土质感,色块大而鲜艳且多样,重新定义了当时公认的土著绘画构架。托马斯以创新的手法描绘风景,为东金伯利画派奠定了基础。

    创作于1987年的《道路交汇》用类比手法再现了两种文化在澳大利亚的融汇境况:红色土路代表先人及原住居民之路,黑色的沥青路代表新来定居者之路。如画所示的手模常见于该地区及整个澳大利亚的岩画。根据托马斯对作品的描述,手模是停车标志。

    1999年,一份政府官方海报复制了这幅画,用以促进土著与非土著人之间的和解。

    Tina Baum
    蒂娜·鲍姆


    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010