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Various Artists

Makarrki-King-Alfreds-Country.jpg

Birmuyingathi Maali Netta Loogatha, Kaiadilt people Australia b.1942 | Mirdidingkingathi Jurwunda Sally Gabori, Kaiadilt people Australia b.(c.)1924 | Warthadangathi Bijarrba Ethel Thomas, Kaiadilt people Australia b.1946 | Thunduyingathi Bijarrb May Moodoonuthi, Kaiadilt people Australia b.1929 | Kuruwarriyingathi Bijarrb Paula Paul, Kaiadilt people Australia b.(c.)1937 | Wirrngajingathi Bijarrb Dawn Naranatjil, Kaiadilt people Australia b.1935 | Rayarriwarrtharrbayingat Amy Loogatha, Kaiadilt people Australia b.1942 | Makarrki - King Alfred's Country (detail) 2008 | Synthetic polymer paint on linen | 200 x 600cm | Purchased 2009 with funds from Professor John Hay, AC, and Mrs Barbara Hay through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation

Makarrki - King Alfred's Country 2008

Birmuyingathi Maali Netta Loogatha
Mirdidingkingathi Jurwunda Sally Gabori
Warthadangathi Bijarrba Ethel Thomas,
Thunduyingathi Bijarrb May Moodoonuthi,
Kuruwarriyingathi Bijarrb Paula Paul,
Wirrngajingathi Bijarrb Dawn Naranatjil,
Rayarriwarrtharrbayingat Amy Loogatha

This major collaborative painting is by the senior Kaiadilt women painters from Bentinck Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria. This and two other works were painted by all seven artists in the group, during a painting workshop in 2008.

It shows the country of King Alfred, who was a senior Kaiadilt law man and a major leader during a time of great change in the late 1940s, when the entire Kaiadilt population was uprooted from Bentinck and Sweers Islands to move to Mornington Island where a fresh water supply could be guaranteed. As the artists have noted:

We have painted one of the most important places on Bentinck Island. This is where King Alfred was born. This is his country. King Alfred was Sally's big brother and he was also Netta's father. He was famous as a strong warrior and leader, he was feared by other tribes. This place is special to all seven of us. We all have close connection to this country. That is why we picked it as (a) painting for us to do together.