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Phyllis Thomas / Argyle Country

100cm x 100cm Ochre on Canvas, 2007

SKU: 12569

$2,800.00

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Phyllis was born at Turner River (Kartang Rija) and grew up there.  Her mother was Kitja and her father Jaru (desert-way).  Phyllis worked around the station, doing yard duties and assisting with the domestic goats.  Whilst in Wyndham, she met her husband, Joe Thomas, a stockman.  She accompanied him to Springvale, then Mabel Downs.  Joe worked at Bow River alongside the late Timmy Timms for Sam and Maggie Lilly, and much later when the Government granted the station to the Timms Family, Joe was granted an excision, and developed Rugan Community (Crocodile Hole).

Joe was instrumental in setting up a school on his Community, and Phyllis taught the children culture – carving, painting and dancing.  Eventually the school was closed and the children attended the larger school at nearby Warmun.

Phyllis paints landscapes – particularly of Crocodile Hole which is a haven for wildlife, boab trees and permanent water. She is well represented throughout Australia and her entry in the Telstra Awards 2000 was highly commended.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2008
– Recent Etchings 2005 – 2008, Northern Editions, Darwin. Other artists featured were Paddy Bedford (dec), Rammey Ramsey, Freddie Timms and Rusty Peters
– Jirrawun Women: Peggy Patrick, Goody Barrett and Phyllis Thomas, Grant Pirrie, Sydney

2007
– All Around Texas – Phyllis Thomas, Churchill Cann and Charlene Carrington, Japingka Gallery, Perth
– From The Ground Up, Ochre Work From The Kimberley, Chapman Gallery, Canberra
– Greetings From Turkey Creek, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney
– Back to the Board, Japingka Gallery, Perth

2006
– Womens Business, Sherman Galleries, Sydney
– East Kimberley Exhibition, Japingka Gallery, Perth

2005
– New Work from Warmun, Gadfly Gallery, Perth

2004
– A Selection of Contemporary Art, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney. Other artists featured included Emily Kngwarreye and Paddy Bedford

2002/03
– Blood on the Spinifex, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne

2000
– 17th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the NT

SELECTED COLLECTIONS
– Parliament House Collection, Canberra
– Art Gallery of Western Australia
– Private and corporate collections throughout Australia and Overseas

I have painted Argyle Country, where the Ord River runs through the top country. This was where Old Argyle Station used to be. I worked here and this was one of the most important cattle stations in our country. When they made that big dam, the station was shifted to another place. What I have painted is all under water now – those big hills, all you can see is the top of them just above that water. Biggest lot of water ever. My people knew this country well – we still remember it the way I have painted it.

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