'Having the artists record the narrative of their works on paper in the studio is like pulling-teeth, but take them onto country and talk flows freely'.
For the past twenty years Ian Waldron has been creating a visual record of life on the Gulf of Carpentaria, in particular the life of people on his traditional Kurtjar country. His paintings of contemporary life on the cattle station Delta Downs, his personal and clan totems, and landscapes depicting the hugely diverse geography of the area, have been making their way to exhibitions in Australia, the United States and Germany. His artistic exploration of his people and place has not only brought him individual recognition, but also contributed to a growing awareness of Indigenous culture on the Gulf.
His traditional homeland is a constant source of inspiration from which he draws the subject matter for his artworks. There is honesty in his portrayal of country, and everyday contemporary life is portrayed with equal sensitivity as historical and traditional stories. For this artist and his people, labour, industry, ownership in the Western sense, and Native title have all been integral to ongoing connection to land.
Ian Waldron recognises the importance of being outside the studio to building a relationship with his countrymen and fellow artists. 'Time on country puts us on another plane of interaction, common ground where we can all be more relaxed'. It is also the best environment for knowledge to be exchanged. Natural cues abound and story telling is spontaneous.
Running time: 30 mins
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