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Alan Griffiths / Bali Bali Balga (2A)

SKU: 16263

60cm x 50cm Ochre on Canvas

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$2,200.00

60cm x 50cm Ochre on Canvas

(Sold)

Artist Profile

1933 – 2018

Alan was born at Victoria River Downs Station, NT in 1933 and passed away peacefully in Kununurra surrounded by his family in 2018. Alan worked as a stockman on many stations in the region including Newry, Ivanhoe, The “Elsey”, Maninbelli, Elizabeth Downs, Delamere, Willaroo and as head stockman on Beswick. When the town of Kununurra emerged in 1965, Alan became a machine operator for the Government. His language was Ngarinyman / Ngaliwurru.

Alan was an acclaimed senior artist and one of the leading Elders in the East Kimberley (as is his wife Peggy). He started painting in the early 1980’s and his immense talent is recognised Australia-wide and Internationally.

Alan was fortunate in that he was one of a few selected artists whose attributes were outstanding enough to gain recognition early in the Aboriginal Art movement – along with his wife Peggy he exhibited with and participated in printmaking programmes alongside some of the most successful ochre artists in the East Kimberley region – Jack Britten, Queenie McKenzie and Rover Thomas. His fastidious approach to his work gained him an enviable reputation, commanding high prices for his paintings.

Alan’s limited edition prints of his own corroboree “Bali Bali Balga Joonba” were instantly successful, being collected by Parliament House. He and Peggy were invited to present this corroboree at the ATSIC Art Awards Perth, with dancing headboards woven by Peggy. This now famous corroboree is danced in Kununurra annually and Alan continued travelling with Peggy for cultural events, including ceremony and law for the youngsters up until his passing.

Alan’s style was distinctive, elegant and precise and with every painting, he shared the story depicting his culture, his knowledge of the country and his diverse experience of life which he spent years passing down to the indigenous youth in his extended family.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2014
• “Alan Griffiths”, CDU Gallery, Charles Darwin University, Darwin

2012
• “Traditional Stories”, Span Galleries, Melbourne

2013
• “Camel Trek Country”,Span Galleries, Melbourne

Selected Group Exhibitions

2013
• “Our Living Land”, An Exhibition of Leading Artists from the East Kimberley, Salvo Hotel, Shanghai, China
• “Ceremony”, Hurstville Museum & Gallery, Hurstville NSW
• “Raison d’être”, Galerie Karin Carton, Versailles, France
• Waltzing Matilda Outback Art Show, Outback Regional Gallery, Winton, Queensland
• Muswellbrook Art Prize, Muswellbrook Regional Art Centre

2012
• “Sharing Difference on Common Ground”, The Cannery Arts Centre, Esperance

2008
• Kimberley Ink and Ochre, Wollongong University

2006
• Collectors Editions: Iconic Prints from the Kimberley, Northern Editions, Darwin

2005
• Celebrate, Seva Frangos Art, Perth, WA
• Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane
• Indigenous Art, Australian Embassy, Paris, France

2004
• Kimberley Focus, Concert Hall PIAF, Perth
• Newcastle Regional Gallery, Newcastle
• Waringarri Song and Dance Cycle, UWA, Perth

2003
• Kimberley Art, Short Street Gallery, Broome
• Moon Show, Arthouse Gallery, Sydney

2002
• Warrgebarenkoo, Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth
• Heyson Prize, Adelaide

2001
• Groundwork, Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth
• All About Art, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
• New Wave Kimberley Art, Corowa House, Margaret River

1999
• Kimberley Art Award, Kununurra

1995
• Fremantle Print Award, Perth

Selected Collections
• Art Equity Collection
• Art Gallery of Queensland
• Artbank Australia, Sydney
• Bachelor Institute of Advanced Education, Darwin
• Broadmeadows Health Service Collection, Melbourne
• Cable Beach Resort, Broome
• City of Perth Collection
• Edith Cowan University Collection, Perth
• Kluge Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection Virginia, USA
• Musee De Confluence, Lyons, France
• National Gallery of Australia Collection
• Parliament House Collection, Canberra

 

Story of the Artwork

This Bali Bali Balga/Joonba (corroboree) has been passed down and is currently owned by Alan, a renowned International Artist. It is a great honour to be the custodian of a corroboree. The Bali Bali Balga/ Joonba has been performed many times under the direction of Alan and his wife Peggy – including the 1997 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Competition, and Alan has depicted the ceremony many times in his painting career, with varied themes.

Visitors to Kununurra have been entertained annually with a rendition of the Joonba/Bali Bali Balga in conjunction with festivities in the region in the dry time.

Here Allan describes his painting.

I have painted the Bali Bali Balga Joonba (coroborree) as we used to dance it in our country, Newry Station just over the Northern Territory Border. Every Christmas time, sitdown time for the station people, the mob from Kununurra way would come to Newry and next year we would go to their country. This is a happy time to catch up with old friends and dance this happy family Joonba.

An artwork of this theme was featured in 2007 at the prestigious Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at the University of Virginia.

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Alan Griffiths / Bali Bali Balga (2A) (Sold)
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Amazing. .wonderful paintings…love the stories told with each..beautiful works by all..look forward each day to see what is next to come…a big thank you to all for your beautiful pieces

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If there was an option to, I’d give a 100 star rating

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Loving how Kirstie finds brilliant artists and shares not only the artwork, but the back story of both the piece AND the artist. You can tell she absolutely loves Aboriginal art, and she has such great rapport with the artists.

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Beautiful art work….. Love it!

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