Paddy Carlton was one of the most famous painters of the East Kimberley Region. He was born on Legune Station in c. 1926 and worked, as many of the painters in this area did, on cattle stations throughout the Kimberley and Northern Territory. Paddy took his surname from Carlton Hill Station.
Paddy was a well respected Elder of his Community and resided in Kununurra with his extended family until he passed in 2006. He recalled his elders teaching him cave painting, storytelling and the culture he passed on to the young ones. In the last few years prior to his passing, Paddy had been teaching his family his original dot-art style, and both Maryanne and Penelope Paddy are becoming artists in their own right.
Paddy’s paintings depict the cave art of his land, and he was renowned as a specialist dot artist, always using ochre pigment. His subject matter extended from what he saw in the caves to animals – crocodiles, snakes, and his famous trademark “Lightning Man”. In later years he had been painting landscape – particularly his homeland and the Northern Territory country where he worked.
Paddy painted and participated in printmaking with the best of the Elder Artists – Rover Thomas, Jack Britten, Queenie McKenzie. His paintings are included in collections World-wide.
Selected Solo & Group Exhibitions
2004 • Span Galleries, Melbourne, VIC
2003 • True Stories: Kimberley Art Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
• Moon – One Icon Many Stories Arthouse Gallery, Sydney
• East Kimberley Art Short Street Gallery, Broome
• Waterhole Grant Pirrie, Sydney
• Paintings – Country from the Heart, Thornquest Gallery, Southport
• Jindy Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2002 • Heyson Prize, Adelaide
• Warrgeberankoo Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle
2001 • All About Art, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
2000 • Art Co-Ordinates, Hong Kong
• Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
• National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory, Darwin
1999 • East Kimberley Art Awards, Kununurra
1998 • Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle
• Creative Native, Perth WA
1997 • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of NT, Darwin
• Hogarth Gallery, Sydney
1996 • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory, Darwin
1995 • Fremantle Prints Award, Fremantle
• East Kimberley Art Award, Kununurra
• Savode Gallery, Brisbane
1994 • Canberra Grammar School, Canberra
• Tandanya, Adelaide
• Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle
• Kimberley Art, Melbourne
• Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs
• Power of the Land- Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
1993 • Kimberley Art, Melbourne
• National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the NT, Darwin
1992 • Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
• Images of Power: Aboriginal Art of the East Kimberley, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Selected Collections • Artbank Australia, Sydney
• National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
• Notre Dame University Collection, Broome
• Parliament House Collection, Canberra
• Edith Cowan University, Perth
• Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
The Story Behind the Artwork
“This is Newry Station – dry time, when the water that should be coming down from the big hills north at Wahroonga and making waterholes everywhere has all dried up. Used to be not much there in this country – now lots of people from all over go there to have a look (tourists). There’s a meatworks even – they fly that beef out frozen all the way to Port Keats. Not like I remember it – these days”
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