Region: Western Arnhem Land
Community: Gunbalanya [Oenpelli]
Outstation: Gumarrirnbang, Marrkolidjban
Social Affiliation: Dhuwa moiety, Nabangardi subsection
Garry is the son of Dudley Djorlom, a traditional bark painter who taught his son to paint on rock and on bark. He had a very good schooling in his youth, and took his promised wife, Doreen, when she was still in her early teens. As the son of a ceremonial leader he learnt the traditional way of life, and is an excellent hunter and food gatherer. He has appeared in several documentaries depicting both his talent as an artist, a dancer, and a hunter in the old way, using four-pronged fishing spears, and digging sticks for yams.
Garry has achieved fame as a master painter on bark and on Arches Rives paper. He lives at a remote outstation called Gumarrirnbang, in the Stone Country between Oenpelli and Ramingining. This homeland centre is owned by an old man called Timothy Nadjowh who was a great artist but is now too old to paint. He is worried that without sons to carry on recording the history and religion of his tribe the stories will be lost forever. He has therefore decided to gradually pass on his myths to Garry whom he considers to be a man of stature and worthy of keeping them safe.
Garry has painted “Dit the Moon Man”, the first story Timothy has given to him, and it was entered in the 1998 National Indigenous Heritage Art Awards held in Canberra, this painting went on to receive a highly commended award. He has also had exhibitions in Perth and Melbourne. It is only a matter of time before Garry becomes world famous. John Kluge, the wealthy collector who has built an art gallery purely for Australian Aboriginal works in Virginia, U.S.A., bought several of Garry’s paintings which have been illustrated in the book entitled: “Kunwinjku Art, the John W. Kluge Commission”.
Highly Commended, Australian Heritage Commission Art Award, Old Parliament House Canberra
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth
Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin
Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia
Museum Arts International P/L, North Adelaide.
1994, Kunwinjku Art from Injalak, 91– 92, John W. Kluge