Paddy Fordham Wainburranga

 
Date of Birth:

c1932-2006

Country

Bamdibu, South Arnhem Land, Northern Territory

Language:

Rembarrnga

Artwork:

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Dreamtime stories painted are the Bangjaingaian Spirits, Mimi Spirits, the Moon Man, the Crocodile Man, Kollo Kollo, The Lefthanded Man, the Rock Man and Waditj.

Paddy grew up around Maningrida, Northern Territory and as a young boy worked at the cattleyards and later as a stockman.  He was taught to paint by his father and four uncles, who also taught him about his culture and how to hunt for food.  They took him to the secret locations that only the initiated can go to and told him about the Dreamtime stories.

Paddy witnessed first-hand the struggle of Aboriginal people for equal rights and land rights.  His paintings of the Mimi Spirit, the good protector spirit, reflect these stories.  His paintings titled "Too Many Captain Cooks", "The Coming of the Welfare System" and World War Two Supply Ships" plus many more are part of the collections of many of Australia's National Galleries

His creation ancestors responsible for Rembarrnga culture and land are depicted on paper, bark and canvas.

Paddy Fordham is known for his story-telling, his lively Mimi Spirits who dance on the canvas, and the animals that he grew up with are also painted alongside the energetic Mimi.

He was one of the aboriginal artists to paint the "Aboriginal Memorial" installation made from 200 painted hollow logs symbolising the 200 years of European occupation in Australia.  This was part of the 1988 Biennale of Sydney.  The exhibition of these hollow logs was displayed the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg and is now on permanent display at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

Collections

Artbank, Sydney.
Berndt Museum of Anthropology, University of Western Australia.
Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide.
Museum of Victoria, Melbourne.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, Sydney.
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth.

Group Exhibitions

1984 Aboriginal Art, an Exhibition Presented by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra.

1985 The Second National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

1987 The Fourth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

1989 A Myriad of Dreaming: Twentieth Century Aboriginal Art, Westpac Gallery, Melbourne;

1989 Aboriginal Art: The Continuing Tradition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

1989 The Sixth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

1990 Spirit in Land, Bark Paintings from Arnhem Land, National Gallery of Victoria.

1990 Tagari Lia: My Family, Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1990 - from Australia, Third Eye Centre, Glasgow, UK.

1990 Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Harvard University, University of Minnesota, Lake Oswego Center for the Arts, United States of America.

1991 Flash Pictures, National Gallery of Australia.

1991 Australian Perspecta, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

1991 The Eighth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

1992 "Tyerabarrbowaryaou, I shall never become a Whiteman", Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

1992 The Ninth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

1992/3 New Tracks Old Land: An Exhibition of Contemporary Prints from Aboriginal Australia, touring USA and Australia.

1993 The Tenth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

1993 Australian Heritage Commission National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Old Parliament House, Canberra.

1993/4 ARATJARA, "Art of the First Australians", Kunstammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf; Hayward Gallery, London; Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark.

1994 Tyerabarrbowaryaou 2, "I shall never become a Whiteman, 5th Havana Biennial, Cuba, & Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

1994 Malu Urul, National Maritime Museum, Sydney.

1994 Art of the Rainbow Snake, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

1998 NATSI Art Award MAGNT Darwin.




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