Booljoonngali Phyllis Thomas

1933 - 2018 Gemerre 2014
  • ochre on canvas
240 cm x 90 cm

Born on the Turner River, in the southeast of the Purnululu Ranges of which she is one of the traditional owners, Phyllis Thomas grew up and worked on the Turner farm, where she familiarised herself with both the European world and Aboriginal bush life, on her travels with the initiated women from her family. Later, she moved to Rugun (Crocodile Hole), in the north of Warmun. She played an important role in the establishment of bicultural education programmes in the schools of the region, and then started to paint, following the example of Queenie McKenzie. Her artworks explore themes relating to the various sacred sites, the colonial history of Kimberley, and more recently, body painting.
In 2003, the Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth acquired the series “The Escape”, eight paintings that tell the story of the flight of the artist’s uncle, pursued by colonial settlers through the mountains. Later in her career, as with this painting, the artist  produced a series of canvases inspired by kija ritual body painting and scarring.

More by this artist

Booljoonngali Phyllis Thomas 1933 - 2018 Gemerre
  • ochre and pigments on canvas
200 cm x 200 cm

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The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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