David Moolooloo

To be Auctioned on July 25th 12 Noon

Language-Mara
Area -Roper River/Ngukurr, South East Arnhemland
Clan- Barbil
Skin- Kerla
Moiety -Mambal
Totem -Bandiyan

From the artist:
I was born on VRD cattle station in the Northern Territory on the 16th of November, 1964. For most of my childhood I was taken care of by the camp elders (Moolooloo and his wife Kaduka). They took me hunting, gathering bush tucker and fishing. I attended many community schools throughout the Northern Territory until I was sent to a cadet’s army school in Queensland. At the age of fifteen I left school and went to work on cattle stations, before continuing with many other jobs. One day I went to see my grandfather out bush and when I arrived he and his brother were painting and carving around a fire. That’s when it hit me – I knew what I was missing and have now been painting for twenty years. I now live in Alice Springs and am planning to return home soon.
– David Moolooloo
The Brolga is a totem for the artist and their dancing on the floodplains is a dance for rain and a sign of imminent rain.

With this painting, David refers to the traditional methods used by his ancestors 40,000-60,000 years ago on the cave walls. Colours relate to natural ochres of the South Eastern Arnhemland region, as well as white clay and charcoal applied with brushes made from bark and human hair. Particular use of the blue background,references successful rainfall.

David’s work achieves a sculptural power through the massing of forms in filled with swaths of rarrk patterns. Management of the crosshatched and negative spaces create visual activity and liveliness of figures.

David Moolooloo is known for his fluid, dynamic compositions, and the striking bold colours referencing the history of ochre rock painting in Arnhemland. On many occasions he uses four colours in cross-hatching, rather than two or three which is more common. Moolooloo’s work is rich in spiritual and cultural meaning that translates through the visual energy of his artwork. His X-ray style of painting is strongly linked back to the tradition of painting on rock and his own experience as a young man.

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