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Gija people

Australia 1930 – 1998

Gija Country 1995 Place made: Warmun (Turkey Creek), Kimberley, Western Australia, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, natural earth pigments and binder on canvas

Dimensions: 200 h x 160 w cm framed (overall) 2004 h x 1605 w x 35 d mm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1996
Accession No: NGA 96.124

The rise of the Turkey Creek (Warmun) school of painting saw a number of women move rapidly to the forefront as artists of exceptional stature. Queenie McKenzie is acknowledged as being among the first of these women.

Queenie’s paintings usually depict country or events set in landscapes viewed from both a horizontal and a vertical perspective. Three-dimensional features—ridges, hills or trees—are shown in profile, while two-dimensional forms such as rivers, creeks, roads or fences are depicted as if viewed from the air.

Gija country 1995 reflects a landscape filled with deep mythological significance. As elsewhere in Australia, the ancestral beings of the Dreaming are associated with most major geographical features. The three lower sections of this painting show topographical features associated with the story of a cannibalistic Old Woman who tried to kidnap children to eat. Finally one boy escaped and his relatives came upon the Old Woman as she followed the lad, and they killed her. The central sections depict the opposite sides of a high hill, Red Butt, on Texas Downs Station: on one side of the hill is the Old Woman’s cave (with the white oval); on the other side, a large pyramidal yellow sand dune (below).

The top section of the painting refers to Nine-Mile, also on Texas Downs, a tract of well-watered country, rich in game and other resources. In their cattle-droving days, Queenie and her close friend Rover Thomas often visited this site, and Rover painted it on several occasions too. Like Rover, Queenie maintained a freedom and spontaneity in her painting that sets her apart from other artists of the East Kimberley.

Kim Akerman

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

奎妮·麦肯齐 (Queenie MCKENZIE)
《吉加乡村》(Gija Country)
200(高) x 160(宽) 厘米
装裱2004(高) x 1605(宽) x 35(深) 毫米
收录号:NGA 96.124

土耳其溪(Turkey Creek)(沃尔芒)画派的崛起见证了大量技艺超群的女性艺术家快速占据重要地位。奎妮·麦肯齐被认为是最先成名的女艺术家之一。


1995年创作的《吉加乡村》反映的景色充满了深邃的神话意义。与澳大利亚别处一样,梦幻的先人与绝大多数重要地理特征相关。画面下幅三部分表现的是与企图绑架小孩食用的食人老妇(Old Woman)故事有关的地理特征。最后,一个男孩逃脱了,老妇追踪少年的时候被其家人撞上,他们把她杀死。画面中幅描绘的是德克萨斯平原农场上红臀(Red Butt)高丘两边的情形:山的一边是老妇的洞穴(白色椭圆);另一边是金字塔形的黄色沙丘(下面)。


Kim Akerman

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra