Aboriginal Art and Torres Strait Islander Art – Limited Edition Prints, Paintings, Sculptures and Books
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Djardi Ashley was born in the bush at the top of the Glyde River in the land called Djilpin country (his grandmother’s country). For most of his life he worked as a stockmen all over the Northern Territory and Arnhem Land. He retired in 1982.
In 1978 he married George Milpurrurru’s sister, Dorothy Djukululu, and in 1983 they moved back to Mulgurrum outstation where Ashley concentrated on painting. He mostly paints the totemic Ngambi stone spear heads. These are made at a site called Ngilipitgi southeast of Ramingining. These spearheads are associated with the Wagilag Sisters’ story, an important Aboriginal creation myth.
As he says: “My brother Ray showed me these pictures. This painting I do comes from the Dreamtime. We remember what our father and grandfather taught us so we can hold onto our culture and show our children. This Ngambi is very important, our luku (footprints) for us. It’s body painting for us”.
His work is characterized by sophisticated interlocking triangular designs in a complex composition.
Subject & Themes
Ngambi – stone spear heads from Ngilipitji quarry, Stone country Blue tongue lizard, Conference of snakes, Wititj – olive python, Wititj that names the trees, magpie geese, long necked tortoise.
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Ramingining Collection, Sydney.
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth.
1986 Aboriginal Artists Gallery, Melbourne.
1983 Mulgurrum, George Paton Gallery, Melbourne.
1984 Djardie Ashley & Dorothy Djukulul, Aboriginal Artists Gallery Melbourne.
1984 Objects & Representations from Ramingining, Power Institute [now MCA], Sydney.v 1986 Ramingining Art Exhibition, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, NT. 1986 Biennale of Sydney, Ramingining Performance Group. dancer.
1987 Bark Paintings from Ramingining, Birukmarri Gallery, Perth, WA.
1987 Art and Aboriginality. Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, UK.
1987 The Fourth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1988 Biennale of Sydney, Aboriginal Memorial, Pier One, Sydney.
1988 ANCAAA and Boomalli, Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Ko-operative, Sydney.
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 Balance 1990: views, visions, influences, QAG, Brisbane.
1990 Keepers of the Secrets, Aboriginal Art from Arnhemland, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
1992 Crossroads-Towards a New Reality, Aboriginal Art from Australia, National Museums of Modern Art, Kyoto and Tokyo
1992 The Ninth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1993 Botany Art Award, Botany Council NSW.
1993 The Tenth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1994 Power of the Land, Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria.
1994 The Eleventh National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1994 Art of the Rainbow Snake, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. 1995 In the time before morning: Aboriginal Art Jim Davidson collection National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Vic.
1996 Bula’ Bula Arts, Ramingining, Anima Gallery, Adelaide.
1997 Wawilag Sisters Exhibition, National Gallery, Canberra.
1998 15th NATSI Art Award MAGNT, Darwin.
1999 16th NATSI Art Award MAGNT, Darwin .
2000 Yolngu Science, Ramingining Collection, MCA, Sydney.
ANCAAA 1987, Newsletter of the Association of Northern and Central Australian Aboriginal Artists 3, 12. (C)
Art from the Land: dialogues with the Kluge-Ruhe Collection of Australian Aboriginal Art ed. by Howard Morphy and Margo Smith, University of Virginia 1999.
Native Born: Objects and Representations from Ramingining Arnhem Land ed. by Bernice Murphy MCA in association with Bula Bula Arts, Ramininging 2000.
Hill, M., and McLeod, N.,1984, From the Ochres of Mungo, Aboriginal Art Today, Dorr McLeod Publishing, West Heidleberg, Victoria. (C)
Johnson, V., 1987, Art and Aboriginality, exhib. cat., Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, UK.
McCulloch, S. Contemporary Aboriginal Art: a guide to the rebirth of an ancient culture Allen & Unwin 1999.
O’Ferrall, M., 1990, Keepers of the Secrets, Aboriginal Art from Arnhemland in the Collection of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. (C)