Timo Hogan grew up with stories of life in the Spinifex Lands. His mother and family dug themselves into the sand dunes to try to avoid the smoke from the Maralinga atomic bomb. Before he was born she walked to a location close to Tjuntjuntjara and found a pile of tin meat left by the patrol officer. A white man came and picked all the people up in an old Landrover and drove them into Cundeelee Mission. Later his mother was driven from Cundeelee to the old hospital in Kalgoorlie for Timo’s birth in 1973. Timo spent his formative years with his father, Neville McCarthur and his stepmother Alkawari at Mt Margaret, and later at Warburton, closer to his father’s traditional lands. Once back in country Timo’s father took him to all the culturally significant places. He wanted to introduce him to the country, to the spirit caretakers and teach him the law. “My father took me to Lake Baker, all around, rockhole and all. I know all these places but I can’t show them. Millmillpa (dangerously sacred). I’m taking over this country now, as my father is getting old. I’m the only son and people say we are like twins, my father and me. We look the same. I know how to use spears – he taught me everything. Timo went through Men’s Business initiation at Warburton. The group travelled down to Tjuntjuntjara on the business run. “My father’s really a Spinifex Man. His brothers are Hogan and Jamieson”. After going through business Timo settled in Tjuntjuntjara and lived with his mother. His father visited regularly before he got too old to make the long journey. For a brief period, Timo lived at Kalka as his mother married a man from there. He did his first canvas, a painting of Lake Baker with Ninuku Artists in 2004. After a long break of nearly 10 years he started painting again. Painting his country, the vast salt lake, the place he now has cultural obligations to look after. A place of power and danger. “I’ve rediscovered my love for painting. I do painting all the time now. I’m painting my country, Lake Baker.”
Text: Pantjutjara — Timo Hogan – in association with Spinifex Arts Project, Outstation Gallery Darwin, 7-29 August 2021
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.