Songlines' Paintings from Balgo Hills, Page 3



TVB 10. Women's Gathering at Kinyu Rockhole, Eubena Nampitjin, 1997, 47" x 31"

This is an exciting composition with its grid of leafy armatures, depicting desert sandhills, radiating off of the central track. That combined with Eubena’s color choices, evocative of that great late afternoon light you see raking the rock formations and sandhills around Balgo, appearing to set them on fire, really makes it come alive. There’s an almost biblical quality to the desert out there, and this painting captures it.

Beatific would be the one word I would choose to describe this painting. Eubena has been the most sought after living painter at Balgo over the last ten years, and I can think of a few good reasons why. One is the aura of light which suffuses her paintings, her palate of pinks and oranges and reds are evocative of the sun-struck deep desert country she roamed as a young woman. There is also a real painterly quality to how she applies her pigments, the smeary amalgam of several colors at once, as seen in the yellow-red-orange passages, giving the painting a real sense of depth and surface texture. What’s beautiful about this painting is the subtle and effective nature of underpainting, the way the yellows and oranges commingle and show through each other, which creates a tremendous sense of depth and light to the work.