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Peggy Griffiths / Kangaroo Dreaming

90cm x 120cm Thick Bush Ochre on Canvas

SKU: 12310


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SKU: 12310 Category:

Peggy was born 1941 on Newry Station in the far north-west of the Northern Territory. She is a senior law and culture woman. Peggy’s father, Frank Moore, worked as a stockman on the cattle station.  She then relocated with her mother Dianah Dingil to Ivanhoe Station in the East Kimberley (Western Australia), and attended school until the age of 15. Old Argyle Station was her next home, when she married Alan Griffiths, a stockman and drover and now an Internationally renowned artist.

Peggy commenced carving artefacts in 1985, and soon after progressed to painting with the first art centre in the region, Waringarri Arts, where she is now a senior artist and former Chairperson.  Peggy is also a member of the Executive Committee of The Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists (ANKAAA). A primary function of the ANKAAA charter is to protect the rights of artists and promote ethical business practice in the Indigenous art industry.

Peggy’s paintings are delicate in colour and style and meticulously executed.  She uses natural ochre pigments with immaculate fine brushwork to depict her Traditional country.  Peggy’s quote – “That’s the spirit, still alive in my country. I paint this country because I know it and because I want other people to know this is my country.”

Her list of collections and exhibitions is impressive – Peggy was the first Indigenous artist to win the Fremantle Print Award in 1995. In November 2008, six very large works by Peggy were showcased in the prestigious “West Meets East” exhibition in Perth, Western Australia.  The paintings depicted her traditional country in the Keep River National Park area, on the border of Western Australia and the Northern Territory.  At the opening, one piece was immediately acquired by Parliament House Collection, Canberra.

In 2014 Peggy was the overall winner of one of WA’s most prestigious art awards, the Kimberley Art Prize.


•    Sharing Difference on Common Ground, CCAE, Darwin

•    Sharing Difference on Common Ground, Holmes A Court Gallery, Perth
•    Best of the Best, Framed Gallery, Darwin
•    Alan & Peggy Griffiths, Short Street Gallery, Broome

•    West Meets East, Peggy Griffiths Solo Exhibition, Seva Frangos Art, Perth
•    Kimberley Ink, Northern Editions, Darwin
•    Celebration, Seva Frangos Art, Perth
•    Kimberley Ink and Ochre, Wollongong University

•    Dreaming the Spinifex, Seva Frangos Art at Span Galleries, Melbourne
•    When Waringarri Came to Town, Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane
•    Kimberley Focus – Alan and Peggy Griffiths, Perth International Arts Festival, Perth,

•    Art of the East Kimberley, Short St. Gallery, Broome

•    Kimberley Ochre, Darwin
•    Short on Size, Short St. Gallery, Broome
•    Heyson Prize, Adelaide
•    Love Your Work – 30 year Exhibition, Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth
•    Warrgebarenkoo, Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth
•    Cossack Art Awards, Cossack, WA

•    Groundwork, Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth
•    Past Modern, Short St. Gallery at Australia Square, Sydney

•    Greenhill Galleries, Perth
•    Redback Art, Brisbane
•    National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of NT, Darwin
•    High on Art, Melbourne
•    Cowara House, Cowaramup, WA

•    National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of NT, Darwin
•    East Kimberley Art Awards, Kununurra

•    East Kimberley Art Awards, Kununurra

•    Fremantle Art Centre, Fremantle

•    Fremantle Print Award, Fremantle

•    National Gallery of Australia
•    Parliament House Collection, Canberra
•    Art Gallery of Western Australia
•    Edith Cowan University Collection, Perth
•    Royal Perth Hospital Collection, Perth
•    Northern Territory University Collection, Darwin
•    Fremantle Art Centre Collection, Fremantle
•    Kerry Stokes Collection
•    Artbank Australia
•    University Of Technology Collection, Sydney


This artwork tells a key dreaming story for the Miriuwung and Gajerron peoples for the ownership of country around Kununurra and to the east. In this area a freshwater spring flows into a creek which empties into the Keep River. Near here there is a ridge where the plains kangaroo fought the hill kangaroo in the dreamtime.

The plains kangaroo was a Miriuwung man and the hill kangaroo was a Gajerrong man. Up on the ridge at Yab-yade-gerni-ngim, the hill kangaroo put his hands in the ground to get sugarbag – wild honey. He didn’t tell the plains kangaroo that the sugarbag was hidden just inside and so when he put his hands in he got nothing.

The plains kangaroo got wild and they started to fight all over the ridges. In the fight each threw a big spear. The spears got stuck in them which became their tails and they became the two types of kangaroo. The plains kangaroo told the hill kangaroo – this is not your place. This is Miriuwung country. So the hill kangaroo followed the ridges back to Gajerrong country and the plains kangaroo went to another part of the Miriuwung country.

The red circles and the large ridges indicate the areas in which the dreamtime argument occurred.

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