Rosie Karedada

Born in Kalumburu circa 1927, Rosie Karedada is a senior Aboriginal artist noted for her depiction of the Wandjina spirit figure. She has exhibited widely and is represented in most major collections in Australia. Rosie is married to Louis Karadeda, another celebrated artist from the same community.

She has a bold and uncompromising style of free drawing, reliant on harsh tonal contrasts which gives her works a characteristic brightness. The imagery is simple and often painted with thick, red-ochre outlines on a white ground.

Rosie’s memories of growing up are clouded by the influence of a rigid Benedictine mission which was established in this area in 1907. The mission tried to enforce an assimilationist Christian message at odds with Aboriginal religion. Rosie clearly remembers the conditions of mission rule and can recall her time spent digging, planting mango trees and irrigating the mission gardens with water lugged on her back from the creek. Boys and girls were made to sleep separately away from their parents in segregated dormitories, a deliberate disruption of the family and of parental teaching. Regular visits to cave sites for instruction, family storytelling and food gathering sessions, previously integral to Woonambal socioeconomic education, were all supplanted by compulsory work, adherence to discipline and ‘whitefella Sundays’.
The current situation in Kalumburu is one of Aboriginal control.
Subject & Themes
Wandjina spirits
Artbank, Sydney.
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth.
Group Exhibitions
1991 Aboriginal Women’s Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1992 Broome Fringe Festival, Broome.
1993 Images of Power, Aboriginal Art of the Kimberley, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Ryan, J., 1993, Images of Power, Aboriginal Art of the Kimberley, exhib, cat., National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
Stanton, J., 1989, Painting the Country: Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Kimberley Region, Western Australia, University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands, Western Australia. (C)
1991, Aboriginal Women’s Exhibition, exhib. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

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