Artists might be born rather than made, and great art might be the product of all of life's experiences, but that doesn't mean the creatively inclined have to be in a hurry to put brush to canvas. Don't believe us? Well, late Bentinck Island artist and senior Kaiadilt woman Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori certainly wasn't.
Gabori might be the subject of the National Gallery of Victoria's latest retrospective; however she only started painting in 2005 at the age of 81. Of course, every year of her existence infuses her bold, bright pieces — from large-scale collaborative works produced alongside other senior Kaiadilt women, to pieces on paper created toward the end of her life.
Dulka Warngiid – Land of All showcases more than 30 of Gabori's efforts (on loan from the Queensland Art Gallery), as well as shining a light on the place — an island in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria, off northwestern Queensland, in northern Australia — she was linked to. For those keen to know more, a schedule of tours and talks dives deeper into the exhibition, and into a fascinating, late-in-life art career.
Image: Mirdidingkingathi Juwurnda Sally Gabori et al, Makarrki - King Alfred's Country (2008), synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 200 x 600 cm, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane. Purchased 2009 with funds from Professor John Hay, AC, and Mrs Barbara Hay through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation (2009.195) © The artists. Licensed by Viscopy.