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Alan Griffiths – Camel Trek

$460.00 inc. GST

Alan Griffiths is a Mirrawoong First Nations artist whose traditional country is in area now known as Victoria River Downs Station, near Timber Creek in the Northern Territory. Artwork details below.

‘From the elegantly ‘mapped’ illustrations of his traditional country to the quirky depictions of his life and culture, Alan’s highly distinctive imagery takes us on a rich visual journey through his life experiences as stockman, camel trek driver, performer and teacher of traditional culture”. Curator, CDU 2006

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Description

Details

  • Type: Screenprint
  • Edition: 99
  • Paper: Magnani Pescia Buff
  • Size: 450 x 660 mm (image), 760 x 560 mm (paper)
  • Printer/Print Studio: Simon White, Basil Hall Editions Darwin, April 2003

Story

This beautiful print is essentially a topographical map of Alan’s country and various landmarks, tracks and travel undertaken by cameleers. Guljagi or Sundown Hill is a significant landmark in the artist’s traditional lands on Victoria River Downs Station near Timber Creek in the Northern Territory. Guljagi is shown in the centre of the print. To the left and along the bottom of the print a water way is depicted. Sundown Creek flows diagonally across the upper right. Cyprus Creek runs along the top of the image. On the far right are a range of hills, the highest being Yoombul- Cybarus Point. Two tracks are shown on either side of Guladji. A new track for cars was made to the left of the hill. Further to left is shown a small hill – Kininil.

During his time as a stockman he witnessed many camel treks across the Kimberley as they made their way from the barge jetty at Timber Creek to all the outlying cattle stations. Camel loads were an essential way of transporting goods long distances across desert country that did not have roads/accessibility for vehicles. The Afghan trekkers showed the community members and stockmen how to load the camels and tie down the loads. The camel trekkers walked alongside the camels across the land. At the lower left is Lindiminung Hill – created by the centipede ancestor during the Dreaming. This is where the centipede stopped and entered the ground. Manjigul Gorge is also shown in this image.

Artist Biography: Alan Griffiths

Alan Griffiths is respected as a senior lawman with authority throughout the Victoria River and Kimberley regions. Born at Victoria River Downs Station, Northern Territory, in 1933, he has worked in stations across the far north of Western Australia and in areas of the Northern Territory. He is an accomplished painter, wood carver, maker of cultural artefacts, songman and dancer.

Alan Griffiths’ arts practice is multifaceted, interpreting both his cultural status and knowledge alongside more lighthearted images of cultural tradition and station life. His repertoire of images includes paintings that map and name country as well as documenting traditional stories and corroborees, cattle mustering and camel treks. Painted in natural ochre, his stories are characterised by series of small figures ‘dotting’ the canvas and are presented as playful, joyous celebrations of his life and cultural commitments.

In 2015 Alan Griffiths was honoured, along with other senior visual artists, musicians and authors, as a State Living Treasure for his lifetime contribution to arts and culture. Read more detail of Alan’s life, art practice and contribution to his community here.

Alan has been an active member of Waringarri Arts in Kununurra, Western Australia. This print was produced in collaboration with the artist and Waringarri Arts.

The artist was paid royalties in full at the time the print was editioned.