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Judy Mengil / Keep River Country (2A)

90cm x 120cm Ochre on Canvas

SKU: 16386


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SKU: 16386 Category:

Judy was born on Newry Station and grew up learning about station life. After Newry her mother and step father shifted to Carlton Hill station where her mother worked in the kitchen. Judy watched all the older women working as cooks and making breads. She also lived at Ivanhoe Station and Argyle Station. In 1965 her mother died and welfare shifted Judy and her sister to Beagle Bay Mission. She returned from the mission in 1971 and settled in Kununurra. 
Judy has four children. She started painting in the mid 1990’s. She mostly paints the country around Binjin – Bucket Springs (Keep River National Park N.T.) which is her mother’s country and Milligan near Bullo River (Northern Territory) which is her father’s country. She paints these places to keep alive the stories and places of her parents so that she can pass knowledge to her children and grandchildren.


Selected Exhibitions

•    Heyson Prize, Adelaide
•    Warrgebarrenkoo, Fremantle Art Centre, Perth

•    East Kimberley Show, Short Street Gallery, Broome
•    20th Tesltra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Darwin

•    Waringarri -Three Women, Framed Gallery, Darwin
•    Introducing Waringarri Artists, Seva Frangos at Span Galleries, Melbourne

•    Judy Mengil & Phyllis Ningamarra, Mossenson Galleries, Collingwood

Judy has painted an area of traditional country for Miriwoong people. It is between Binjin and Jarnem in the Keep River area. The big billabong that stands alone is called Moolerrm beside the Keep River. This area is good for hunting and fishing and after the wet the area comes alive with wild flowers and bush tucker which Judy depicts in this artwork. Judy says: “I’ve painted that bush medicine – sugarbag, gooseberry, wattle seeds, all sorts in this one painting. There are special leaves – you boil them in the water and then you have a bogy (bath) and it helps with colds and flu – good medicine this one. The little dots, those seeds, that’s bush soap, you use the wattle seed and when it dries it goes black and you use it as soap and it goes all bubbly. When we go bush we use it in the billabong”.

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