Indigenous artist’s work on display
His work has been featured at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and he is a respected figure in the Indigenous arts community.
Now Donny Woolagoodja’s work is set to be featured in a very special solo exhibition at Short Street Gallery.
The Worrorra artist will be presenting his solo exhibition Yornadaiyn Woolagoodja: Gerwarlee Waidju (Donny Woolagoodja: Mine, The Way I Do It) from June 19-July 9 at the Broome gallery.
The exhibition consists of several canvas paintings depicting Wandjina, described by Woolagoodja as the highly respected spirit of the Worrorra, Ngarinyin and Wunumbul tribes.
“The Wandjinas brought the law, culture and language,” he said.
“The people of Mowanjum believe that the first Wandjina was called Idjair — he created the first human beings, the Gyorn Gyorn people.”
Woolagoodja also said art was a natural thing and it felt special and important to create Wandjina paintings to pass knowledge down to the younger generations.
“We are giving people the culture and reminding them of it,” he said. “Sometimes Wandjina appear to me in dreams and say, ‘you never come to see me’. They say, ‘why don't you come to my house to see me?’
“They give me the image, the picture, and then I do it.”
Along with the exhibition, Woolagoodja has a book in the works for release this year with Broome-based award-winning publishing house Magabala Books.
Short Street Gallery exhibitions co-ordinator Tahnee Roberts said the gallery was thrilled to be open once again and hoped to welcome many people to the gallery for the exhibition.
“We are crossing our fingers we will have many Western Australians visit Broome and support their State, and cannot wait until the State borders open so we can welcome people from across the country and give our local economy a much needed boost,” she said.
“We encourage everyone to get down and enjoy the culture that is at their doorstep supporting all the local and remote-based artists whose income streams have been severely affected during 2020.”
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