Bob Ali is a painter from Maningrida. His work is ochre on bark and features the aquatic life from where the inhabitants of the island draw their livelihood. In this painting Bob Ali has used the images of fish and a water bird. The fish and bird are represented in profile with the cross hatching in the back ground.
The easily recognisable cross hatching techniqueis used in the background of all his paintings. He was included in an exhibition that showed at the MCA in 2003. Bob Ali spend much of his time collecting timber and bark to make his artwork. He also gathers the materials used to make the ochre paint. His wife is also an artist and uses the natural fibres found in the area to create her beautiful camp dogs.
About Art & Maningrida Comunity
“This place, the creek and water, we love this country, we Aboriginal people. We love it. The old people were the same, attached to the water and this land. The old people, our grandfathers and grandmothers, great grandparents, our ancestors, they lived here in this place, put here for them.” Ivan Namirrkki, Kuninjku artist, 2003
“Sometimes I think about this crosshatching and it makes me cry.
I’m a magic man, I dream and I understand.” John Mawurndjul, 2003
The Aboriginal artists of western Arnhem Land are alchemists of tradition and innovation. Crossing Country reveals this potent chemistry – an inspired fusion of country, culture and community, of the human and the supernatural. “This is an art movement that confounds the conventions of Western art in simultaneously invoking the customary and the contemporary,” says curator Hetti Perkins
The Kuninjku homelands are situated in western Arnhem Land, in the far north of Australia. Sandstone escarpments crown dense, tropical eucalypt forests and grasslands, which open up on to the vast seasonal floodplains of the Tomkinson, Liverpool and Mann Rivers. The Kuninjku are neighboured in the north by Kunbarlang and Ndjébbana people, to the east by Gun-nartpa and Gurrgoni, to the south by Dalabon and Kune people and to the west by the culturally affiliated, yet distinct, Kunwinkju people. These language groups are part of the complex social network within western Arnhem Land, and have strong kin, ceremonial and artistic relationships.
Words courtesy Crossing Country, Education Kit
Art Gallery of New South Wales 25th Sep – 12 Dec 2004