Stunning minimal work by Charlene using garliwan (tree resin) to bind the ochres, giving the work a rich texture and subtle sheen.
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The use of garliwan (natural tree resin) over ochre was a technique taught to Charlene by the late Rover Thomas when she was a young girl. Although the design is strong and minimal, the execution of an artwork using garliwan is complex, starting with the collection of the resin from certain trees at certain times of the year, to coming up with a combination of resin that can be applied like paint but won’t crack. Charlene has mastered this technique over the years and the result is nothing short of stunning, the effect is like a beautiful piece of mahogany furniture.
The subject of the painting is one of the designs painted by the Senior Kitja men on the Kurrirr Kurrirr (dancing) headboards for Rover Thomas’ corroboree. Charlene was given permission by Rover to paint this and his other designs whilst she worked at the Care Hostel in Warmun prior to Rover’s passing. During this time, she was privy to many of the techniques of the Master Painter who obviously could see the talent of the young girl.