Djambawa Marawill
Source of Fire 2003-2005

We are all born with an innate gift of creativity. How we express it depends on our choices in life as well as our talents and circumstances. We cannot all be artists and if you are like me, then your creative urge in the visual arts is expressed through the act of looking. What we learn and feel through our eyes may have a profound effect on hose we live our lives. Nobody is remembered in history for making money for example, but rather how the express themselves through cultural contribution.

For myself, there is nothing more satisfying than witnessing the evoling process of a favourite artist's work. Our reactions to new directions may vary, as with art of substance we are unable to fully grasp the implications of major changes in form and content without the benefit of a degree of hindsight - and this is the challenge - to keep and open mind while our own creativity unfolds over time through the process of looking.

In the case of 'Djambawa Marawili' I have been priveleged to know the man and and his work since our first exhibition of works from NE Arnhem Land entitled 'Big Bark' in 1996. The quality of his work has continuously nurtured me, but the breakthrough in the paintings presented at Annandale for 'Buwayak' in 2003 was a revelation and several major works quickly found homes in major institutions including the National Gallery of Australia.

In would have been difficult as it was to imagine further significant change in the paintings anytime soon following 'Buwayak'; the current collection done over the last two years has done just that. The recurrent 'Source of Fire' theme has been recast yet again with extraordinary results. The shimmering surfaces, the rhythm and interaction of clan designs and water, lightning and Barus (crocodiles) are ambitious paintings that I believe only someone of Djambawa's stature as an artist and an elder could achieve. The robustness in even the smallest works, the sureness of hand and delicacy of execution, the pure muscularity of these paintings are unsurpassed to the point where this exhibition promises to be, in retrospect, a keynote statement not only for Djambawa Marawili but for the continuum of the creative process in NE Arnhemland.

- Bill Gregory, Director Annandale Galleries, Sydney April 2005


Djambawa Marawill
Source of Fire 2003-2005
Major Bark Paintings
11 May - 18 June 2005

Exhibition features:

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Please note, works in previous exhibitions may no longer be available, please visit our stockroom for available works