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Reggie Sultan / Seven Sisters Dreaming (SUL184)
42cm x 53cm Acrylic on CanvasView more from artist
42cm x 53cm Acrylic on Canvas
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Ochre / Kimberley artworks are shipped on canvas or linen, already stretched, ready to hang unless stated otherwise.
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Born in Alice Springs in 1955, Reggie first took up painting as a young fella attending the Alice Springs Convent School. Although he won numerous school art awards, Reggie learned his art by watching older artists painting in the Todd River and Chinaman’s Creek.
First adopting a ‘Namatjira’ style of landscape painting, Reggie began painting scenes around his hometown and sold his first painting at the mission block store. Over the years Reggie worked on stations as a station hand and fencer, painting on the side when he had a chance.
Since 1985 he has been a professional artist experimenting with adopting traditional dot painting styles to tell stories about life in his mothers country in Central Australia around Barrow Creek and Neutral junction station. Using Aboriginal symbols and drawing on his own experience of the bush, Reggie’s paintings tell stories of hunting, gathering bush tucker and traditional Aboriginal lifestyle.
Reggie uses a range of colours, especially the ochres or red and yellow oxides, on black canvas. He is currently experimenting with paints, which dry in a matt finish in order to give the painting a more ‘original’ feeling. His distinctive speckled colour background effect is achieved using leaves. Some of the larger more intricate paintings can take up to three months to complete.
Over the past few years Reggie’s works have gained increasing recognition and exposure. Since moving to Darwin he has participated in the National Aboriginal Art Awards four times.
• 1989: Sixth National Aboriginal Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the NT
• 1991: Flinders Art Gallery, Townsville
• 1993: Tenth National Aboriginal Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the NT
• 1994: Eleventh National Aboriginal Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the NT
• 1994: Australian Heritage Commission National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art award, Old Parliament House, Canberra
• 1995: Twelfth National Aboriginal Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the NT
• Mural, Darwin Entertainment Centre
• Hardy, J., Megsaw,J.V.S. and Megaw, MR (eds), 1992, The Heritage of Namatjira – the Watercolourists of Central Australia, William Heinemann, Australia. ©
As you look towards the sky at night you could see the Milky Way, and the seven sisters. In Aboriginal legend this story has been told in many ways from Elders down to the young generations. Forty thousand years ago, when only Aboriginal people roamed Australia, they had stories and this is one of the Dreamtime stories of the Seven Sisters.
One night the seven sisters decided to visit Earth, so they followed the Milky Way until they came to earth near a creek. They got off the Milky Way then wandered around. They saw the kangaroos, emus, snakes, bush tucker, creeks and waterholes as they wandered around looking at the country. They came upon seven hunters sitting in a circle around a waterhole. Their spears and shield sat beside them. The hunters noticed them and called them over. “Here, are you hungry?” said one of the hunters, “Have a feed and a drink of water”.
“They seem to be friendly”, said one of the sisters, so they walked over. The hunters fell in love with them at first sight, they took them all over the country, and showed them everything they could. The sun was going down and the sisters told the hunters, “When the sun goes down we must go. As soon as the Milky Way comes again to the creek where we got off, we must go back into the sky.”
The hunters were sad and did not want to let them go, the seven sisters said “don’t worry, one day we will come back and visit you again”. One of the hunters was so sad and started crying, he didn’t want them to go. The sun finally went down and the Milky Way appeared near the creek. “We must go now, said the sisters as they were running towards the Milky Way. “Stop, stop” said the hunters, but the sisters ran towards the Milky Way and climbed on. They shouted, “We must go back tonight, so people throughout the world can see us, our friends are waiting for us”. But one of the hunters grabbed hold of a sister and said, “don’t go please” and started crying, she started crying as well and said “l must go, I must go; my sisters are waiting for me, please let go.” So he let her go and she waved goodbye with tears in her eyes, and the hunter was very sad when she left.
Anyway he married one of his promised wives, and told his story to all his children and to this day, as you look towards the sky you can see a sister still trying to catch up with her other sisters. That is how seven sisters came to be as they are today.
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