Indigenous Artwork From Australia’s East Kimberley by Rover Thomas

This print on paper shows Wild Dog Dreaming places in the artist’s traditional country around Yalda Soak (near well 33 0n the Canning Stock Route).

Indigenous Painting by Rover Thomas, 'Wuritji Country', 610 x 800 mm, Print on paper, © The Artist & Waringarri Arts

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The Wild Dog or Dingo is Rover Thomas’ (the artist) dreaming from which he derives his first name. When he first came to the East Kimberly as a young man, he was so fond of talking about the Dingo dreaming that the local Aboriginal people nicknamed him “Rover” (or Roba as it is pronounced in Aboriginal kriol). He has used the name ever since.

In 1995 the artist revisited his birthplace and the Wild Dog dreaming sites for the first time in 40 years and created a series of works based on the trip. This print shows a series of rock holes formed by Mother Wild Dog and her “Puppy Dogs” in the Dreamtime. These rock holes are found up on ridges and were vital sources of watering in the harsh desert climate. They are also important dreaming places.

At the lower left of the painting is the dreaming place of the Mother Wild Dog which is said to be linked to its “puppy dogs” by subterranean passages. The smaller circles at the bottom are rounded stones which are also associated with this country.

The print shows a hill in country called Wurrilji in the artist’s traditional country close to Yalda Soak in Western Australia. This hill is associated with the travels of Linga, a Dreamtime snake who belonged to the Japananka skin group. In the Dreamtime, Linga began his travels in the desert near Papunya and Yuendumu, north of Alice Springs. He camped on a hill in Wurritji country before moving on to the saltwater (ocean) where his journey ended. In the print, the hill is the large shape in the center. The small circular area is Linga’s camp.

Text and artwork © The Artist & Waringarri Arts

AUD $8800

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