Peter Skipper (Pijaju)
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Aboriginal artist, Peter Skipper was born around 1929. He is a Jangkarti man from Japingka country, on the western side of the Great Sandy Desert. Forced to leave his home country as a young man, he ventured into a cattle station. He recalls being scared, because he had never seen white men, cattle, or cars before. His life changed markedly when he began working with horses and cattle on the stations.
He later moved to Fitzroy Crossing where he was affected by the evangelistic zeal of the fundamentalist United Aboriginal Mission which was established in Fitzroy Crossing in the 1950’s. After being introduced to Christianity he became active in translating the Bible into Walmajarri language.
Skipper is an individual artist of great imagination. His paintings resonate with ancient symbolic references connected to Aboriginal religion in the land of his youth, but many also have illustrative and pictorial narratives. He is a committee member of Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, based in Fitzroy Crossing. His works are held by major Australian institutions, including the National Gallery of Australia; Art Gallery of Western Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria.
Subject & Themes
Spirit being, Wati Kutjarra, travelling to waterholes, looking for water, Jarrangkul, Paparta, Pulujarra, Two men, Emu, Marrawali, Payarr & Jarrangkul, Jumuwarnti, Mulyawakal, Katakarri, Payinjarra, Nyirralpi, Pulkartu, Mangkajakura- a waterhole in the Great Sandy Desert, south of Christmas Creek.
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
Berndt Museum of Anthropology, University of Western Australia.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
Per Grieg Collection, Norway.
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth.
1988 Explorations, Patterns, Dreamings, Craft Centre Gallery, Sydney.
1988 Dreamings, the art of Aboriginal Australia, The Asia Society Galleries, New York.
1990 Jarinyanu David Downs and Peter Skipper, The Chesser Gallery, Adelaide.
1990 Balance 1990: views, visions, influences, QAG, Brisbane.
1990 Jarinyanu David Downs, Peter Skipper and Mary Anne Purlta: Paintings and Prints, The Chesser Gallery, Adelaide.
1990 Ngarrangkarni: Jarinyanu David Downs, Peter Skipper and Mary Anne Purlta, Roar 2 Studios, Melbourne.
1990 South to North: Tandanya Contemporary Art, Gallerie la Belle Angele, Edinburgh.
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.
1990 Abstraction, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1991 Aboriginal Art and Spirituality, High Court, Canberra.
1992 Jarinyanu David Downs and Peter Skipper, Hogarth Gallery, Sydney.
1992, Crossroads-Towards a New Reality, Aboriginal Art from Australia, National Museums of Modern Art, Kyoto and Tokyo.
1992/3 New Tracks Old Land: An Exhibition of Contemporary Prints from Aboriginal Australia, touring USA and Australia.
1993 Parntapi Bilnga: Peter Skipper and Janangoo Cherel, Artplace, Claremont, WA.
1993 Jarinyanu David Downs – Metaphysician with Peter Skipper and Mary Anne Purlta, Emerald Hill Gallery, South Melbourne.
1993 Tarinoita: Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art, Keravan Taidemuseo, Helsinki, Finland.
1993 The Tenth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1993 Images of Power, Aboriginal Art of the Kimberley, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
1994 Peter Skipper and Butcher Cherel Janangoo, Artplace, Claremont, WA.
1994 Jarinyanu David Downs, Peter Skipper and Mary Anne Purlta, Adelaide Fringe Festival, Tuldar Gallery, Adelaide.
1994 The Eleventh National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1995 Stories, Eine Reise zu den grossen Dingen, touring, Sprengel Museum Hannover, Museum fur Volkerkunde Leipzig, Haus der Kulteren der Welt Berlin, Ludwig-Forum fur Internationale Kunst Aachen.
1995 Mangkaja, Old Mangkaja New Prints, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne.
1995 The Twelfth National Aboriginal Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
Aboriginal Artists of Western Australia, [n.d.] [folios of works and biographies], Aboriginal Education Resources Unit, Western Australia.
Aboriginal Arts Management Association, 1990, Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1990 – from Australia (presented by the Aboriginal Arts Committee, Australia Council and Third Eye Centre, Glasgow), exhib. cat., Redfern, New South Wales. (C)
Brody, A., Krempel, U., Bahr, E., (eds.), 1995, Stories, Eine Reise zu den grossen Dingen, exhib. cat., Landeshauptstadt Hannover Der Oberstadtdirektor Sprengel Museum Hannover and Autoren. Caruana, W., 1993, Aboriginal Art, Thames and Hudson, London. (C)
Crumlin, R., (ed.), 1991, Aboriginal Art and Spirituality, Collins Dove, North Blackburn, Victoria. (C)
Hodge, B., and Mishra, V., and Unwin, 1991, Dark side of the Dream: Australian Literature and Postmodern mind.
Hudson, J., 1976, The Walmajarri, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Australian Aborigines Branch, Darwin.
Ryan, J., 1993, Images of Power, Aboriginal Art of the Kimberley, exhib, cat., National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
Sutton, P. (ed.), 1988, Dreamings: the Art of Aboriginal Australia, Viking, Ringwood, Victoria. (C)
1990, Balance 1990: Views, Visions, Influences, exhib. cat., Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane. (C)
1990, Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, exhib. cat., Heytesbury Holdings Ltd., Perth.
1995, Mangkaja, Old Mangkaja New Prints, exhib. cat., Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency.
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