A Window to a Hidden Past
10 January - 8 February
an important and significant body of work by the dearly missed elder
whose life was kimberley history personified
Jack Dale was a brilliant story teller. Historians and academics alike frantically attempted to record his remarkable life story before his passing in 2013. But Jack, the ever resilient man, wanted to tell his story, his way.When Jack picked up the brush and started to paint, he found a way to tell his story from his own unique perspective and aesthetic.
Neil McLeod – one of Australia’s leading photographers and researchers of Aboriginal culture - first met Jack Dale in the early 1980s. Over the years a close relationship developed between them, and from 2000 onwards, Jack started to paint almost exclusively for Neil.
Until now, the closest the public could get to Neil McLeod’s significant collection was through reproductions in his book Jack Dale Mengenen (2010).
But for a limited time, visitors to Kate Owen Gallery will have the opportunity to view Neil McLeod’s significant collection and have the opportunity to purchase an artist who is known as one of the greats from the Kimberley.
Jack Dale’s artwork is a window to a hidden past and doorway to a greater understanding of Indigenous Australian culture and history, a fact that makes his artworks highly collectible. They are important historical and cultural documents, which could equally hang in a fine art gallery or a museum, where their anthropological value is outstanding.
During his life, Jack saw many things that would later be the subjects of his paintings; hiding in the bush watching chain gangs of Aboriginal men being marched away to the Prison Tree in Derby, nostalgic memories of his stockman days, the Wandjina dreaming sites of his people, and even the bombing of Roebuck Bay in WWII.
These paintings raise your interest and beg to be talked about and considered. Despite the sometimes grim subject matter, there is an enchanting and buoyant spirit in his art, just as there was in this resilient man.
Kate Owen Gallery is privileged to showcase a significant body of work by Jack Dale, which is currently on display and available to view online.
If you missed our Jack Dale exhibition, here are some shots - enjoy!
The Online Exhibition is still available to view here.