2019 Wati: Men from Spinifex
Wati: Men from Spinifex is held in association with Spinifex Arts Projects, Tjuntjuntjara, Western Australia. Featuring artists Simon Hogan, Timo Hogan, Lawrence Pennington, Patju Presley, Ned Grant, Fred Grant, Ian Rictor, Noli Rictor, and Byron Brooks.
"To live and breathe a landscape. To have your birth, death and waking life spiritually and emotionally linked to the very environment that surrounds you. To be able to see and walk your religion as mapped moral narratives written across the vast country you inhabit. And to generously share all of this as another language within the painting medium. This is the joy of the Spinifex Men.
A recent history filled with tragedy, as the Spinifex people were dispossessed from the very land that nourished them and they needed for their spiritual life. A relocation to a Mission life that held its own demons and vices, only made the people resolute in their determination to return to their spiritual home in the north.
The year 2000, the Millennium, a legal celebration and signing at the significant site of Miramiratjara, with the landscape once again peopled by those that know, those that see, those that sing its secrets. Recognition. Of the continuity, of authority, of a knowledge and belonging held from before millennium.
Beginnings. The mapping of the song, a pictorial path to engagement, a collaboration of artists. The intimacy of site knowledge, of another’s birthplace, of a country full of meaning. From early compositions a discerning path is followed to the paintings themselves, as the artists continue to depict the story, to sing in unison. There is a new language being produced and it is embraced by a much larger audience who will discover the continuation of this remarkable journey, is written in paint."
- Brian Hallet, Spinifex Arts Project 2019