Uncovering the career of iconic artist Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda, a new book by Australian businessman and art collector, Pat Corrigan – Gabori: the Corrigan Collection of paintings by Sally Gabori unveils a vibrant window into indigenous art and culture.
Gabori commemorates the vibrant, large-scale contemporary works of Queensland Indigenous artist, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Mrs Gabori) (1924-2015). In 2005, at the age of 81, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Mrs Gabori) began producing artworks that gained both national and international acclaim, making her one of Australia’s leading modern artists of the last decade.
“There are artists that not only paint from the heart but put their soul into their work. Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Mrs Gabori) was one of these artists,” says Patrick Corrigan.
“Her artwork represents the vitality of contemporary Australian art, and through this book I hope to provide a special window into Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda’s (Mrs Gabori) story and how she came to paint.”
Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Mrs Gabori) was born as part of the Kaiadilt people in 1924 on Bentinck Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland. In 1948, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Mrs Gabori) and her family were relocated to Mornington Island where she lived and worked until her death on 13 February 2015. Her artworks were renowned for capturing her inextricable connection to her country, her family, her tribe, and their remarkable and dramatic history.
“Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Mrs Gabori) may not have had the longest career, yet the cultural legacy she left behind will live on for a very long time,” says Corrigan. It was her ability to communicate ancestral stories and her experiences accumulated over an incredible 91 years that won her great admiration far and wide.”
“It was through paint and a canvas that helped her reconnect with her country. While we all cannot possibly imagine the pain and suffering she experienced when forcibly removed from her country. It is through her raw talent and abstract land and seascapes as captured in Gabori that impart an intimate and colourful insight into her relationship with the land and Kaiadilt’s ancient traditions.”
“This pictorial book celebrates one of our most highly regarded and sought after contemporary artists. I hope for people Gabori captures the impetuous energy and vibrancy of Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda’s (Mrs Gabori) work, an artist I have come to love over the years and believe will leave her mark on the Australian visual culture.”
For over 40 years, Patrick Corrigan has actively supported the Australian art and cultural landscape, receiving an Order of Australia for his contributions in 2000. Corrigan is an avid art collector and arts benefactor of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contemporary paintings.
His Indigenous art collection contains 500 Aboriginal works – painted since 2000 and including several works by Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Mrs Gabori) – and has been the subject of two books and numerous public exhibitions.
Gabori: the Corrigan Collection of paintings by Sally Gabori is published by Macmillan Art Publishing and is available from all leading book retailers.
Image: Gabori: the Corrigan Collection of paintings by Sally Gabori