On a recent trip to Canberra I was keen to see a large painting by Indigenous artist Sally Gabori (Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda). The painting was stunning, at nearly 2 meters wide and displayed at the end of the room which allowed for excellent viewing.
I had not been aware of Gabori’s work until a retrospective exhibition was held last year at the National gallery of Victoria. As soon as I saw her work I felt a deep connection to her freedom of spirit.
Gabori’s life is as inspiring as her paintings and reflects her gusto and spirit. Gabori lived without white contact until the age of 23 at which point she moved to a mission and bore eleven children.
Gabori was of course very strongly part of her culture and wanted in her paintings to tell the story of her country.
Gabori did not pick up a paint brush until the age of 81 and over the next ten years painted more than 2000 paintings.