Sally Gabori paints her grandfather’s country
Tuesday 16 August 2016 Share FacebookDelicious Email

We continue our series on the work of the late Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, senior Kaiadilt artist from Bentinck Island in Queensland’s Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Like so many great artists, Sally Gabori excelled at painting the world she knew, here you are introduced to her grandfather’s country.

SallyGabori_MyGrandfathersCountry2009Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, Kaiadilt people, Australia c.1924–2015 / My Grandfather’s Country 2009 / Synthetic polymer paint on canvas / Acquired with the Founding Donors’ Fund 2010 / Collection: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra / © Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori. Licensed by Viscopy

BLOG_MIRDIDINGKINGATHI(MrsGABORI)_MyGrandfathersCountry2011_EstateOfTheArtist_001Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, Kaiadilt people, Australia c.1924–2015 / My Grandfather’s Country 2011 / Synthetic polymer paint on linen / Collection: Courtesy the Estate of the artist and Alcaston Gallery / © Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori. Licensed by Viscopy

Dingkari is an outside hunting ground to the south of Bentinck Island. It has a shallow reef but has very deep water right next to it. It is a good place to hunt dugong and turtle.
Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori

Dingkari (Dingkarri) is the Country of Mirdidinkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori’s grandfather Dingkarringathi, and brother, Makarrkingathi Dingkarringathi Thuwathu Bijarrb (King Alfred). It is a small islet and important tidal hunting ground to the south of Sweers Island. It is partially connected to Sweers by a long series of shallow rocky reefs called Karandjalt, which extend into the waters of the Gulf like a long hook, connecting the islet to the base of Bardathurr, the highest hill on Kaiadilt Country and the final resting place of Dibirdibi, the Rock Cod Ancestor.

Dingkari was revered as a hunting area, as the deep channels that flow at the edge of the reef attract dugong, turtle and large species of fish. Kaiadilt men would travel to Dingkari using walpu, Kaiadilt log rafts. Most of Sally Gabori’s Dingkari paintings feature circular, oval or rectangular shapes, reflecting the islet at different stages of tidal flux. Some show the interconnecting reefs between Sweers Island and Dingkari, while in others the islet is alone and adrift in a sea of paint.

READ OUR SERIES on Sally Gabori 

You can view these paintings and more until 28 August in the Gallery’s exhibition ‘Dulka Warngiid – Land of all’ before our exhibition travels to the National Gallery of Victoria from 23 September 2016

Why in understanding Sally Gabori’s art you must know in at least a small way, her home.

Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori: Dulka Warngiid – Land of all
Only until 28 August 2016 | QAG | Free
Buy the Publication


Fluent: Aboriginal Women’s Paintings from the Collection
Until 28 August 2016 | QAG | Free

Line + Form: Paintings and Sculpture from the Indigenous Australian Collection
Until 13 November 2016 | GOMA | Free 

Indigenous Australian Collection: Everywhen, Everywhere
Permanent Collection | QAG | Free

Want to know what’s on at QAGOMA?
Sign up to QAGOMA Enews