Mabel Juli Wirringoon

Mabel Juli Wirringoon

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DOB: c. 1934
Born: Barlinyin, WA

Mabel Juli (bush name Wiringgoon) was born at Five Mile near Moola Boola Station (south of Warmun). She was taken as a baby to Springvale Station, her mother's country. She started work on the station as a little girl, and as a young woman moved to Bedford Downs Station and Bow River Station to work. Juli's mother is Mary Peters. Juli is one of seven children - six boys and one girl, Mabel. There are only three of the children alive today: Mabel, Rammel and Rusty. Rusty Peters is alos an accomplished artis working at Jirrawun Arts in Wnydham.

When Mabel was a young girl, she left Springvale Station to be with her promised husband. Together they moved to different cattle stations in the Kimberley, including Bow River and Bedford Downs. Mabel and her husband had six children. Mabel's husband passed away in 1982 when Mabel was 42.

Mabel Juli is a senior Warmun artist. She is a strong Law and Culture woman and is an important ceremonial singer and dancer. Mabel started painting in the 1980s, at the same time as Warmun artists Queenie McKenzie and Madigan Thomas. The women used to watch Rover Thomas paint and one day he said to them, 'You try yourself, you might make good painting yourself.' Mabel says 'I started thinking about my country, I give it a try.'

Mabel is a dedicated, innovative artist who continues to work natural earth pigments on canvas. she primarily paints the Ngarrankarni (Dreaming) stories of her darrajayin (also spelt Tarrajayin), which is covered largely by Springvale Station.

Artist Statement 2004:

'I started painting when the old girl (Queenie McKenzie) was here - she was the one who taught me to paint. She told me 'you try that painting' and I started to paint. I was doing that Karrngin (Moon Dreaming), that's the painting I started with because mother and father told me the Ngarrankarrni (Dreamtime) story. I was reminded of all those stories from my mum and dad - like Glingennayn Hill and the Old Woman Singing Out For Her Dog. Those came from my country. They used to take me out bush when I was a little girl - good size - and they told me all stories. And I always remember those stories. I got 'em in my brain.'


  • Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
  • Art Gallery of Queensland, Brisbane
  • Artbank, Sydney
  • Berndt Museum of Anthropology, Perth
  • Broadmeadows Health Service Collection, Melbourne
  • Edith Cowan University Art Collection, Perth
  • FTB Group Collection
  • Hartland Collection
  • Harvey Wagner Collection, USA
  • Kaplan Collection, USA
  • Kerry Stokes Collection, Perth
  • National Australia Bank, Melbourne
  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • Northern Territory University Collection, Darwin
  • Springvale Station, Western Australia
  • Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

Awards and Recognition

2021 Mabel's artworks feature again in the reenactment of 'Badu Gili', a nightly year-round sunset projection onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House
2020 37th NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist
2019 36th NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist
2018 Mabel's artworks feature in 'Badu Gili', a nightly year-round sunset projection onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House
2003 The Centenary Medal for Service to the Arts, awarded by the Minister's Office
2000 17th NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist
1994 11th NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2010 Seva Frangos Art, Perth
2007 Short Street Gallery at Mary Place Gallery, Sydney
2006 Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2004 Kaliman Gallery, Sydney
2002 Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne

Selected Group Exhibitions

2020 Grounded, Masterworks from Indigenous Australia, Harvey Art Projects, Ketchum, ID, USA
2020 Warmun Artistis - The Ochre Story, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
2019 Earthworks, JGM Gallery, London
2016 Excursions in Narrative Form at the MCA, Sydney
2014 Garnkiny: Constellations of Meaning, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne
2014 Gija Contemporary Art from Warmun, Aboriginal & Pacific Art, Sydney
2012 Earth: Ochre Painting from Warmun, Tim Melville Gallery, Auckland
2010 Desert Country, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
2009 Sharing Difference on Common Ground: Kimberley Aboriginal Artists, Holmes a Court Gallery, Perth
2007 Ngarrangkarni & Bible Stories, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
2007 Warda-Wurrarem (All kinds of stars) Raft Art Space, Darwin
2007 Warmun snapshot, Aboriginal Art Fair, Darwin
2007 Grettings from Turkey Creek, Mary Place, Sydney
2007 Warmun Artists In New York, Ralph Pucci Gallery, New York
2007 From the Bungalow II: Kimberley & the Top End, Johnstone Gallery, Perth
2006 Bungles Bungles, Short St. Gallery, Broome
2006 Patrick Mung Mung & Mabel Juli, Gabrielle Pizzi Gallery, Melbourne
2006 Warum Art Centre Presents, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney
2005 Best of Warmun, Gadfly Gallery, Perth
2005 Waterhole Show 11, Grant Pirrie in association with Raft Artspace, Sydney
2004 Die Inneren und die Aeusseren Dinge, Stadtgalerie Bamberg, Germany
2003 True Stories, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2003 Masters Exhibition, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs
2003 Recent Works in Ochre by Warmun, Framed Gallery, Darwin
2003 Ochre Works by 6 Warmun women, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs
2003 East Kimberley Easter Show, Short St. Gallery, Broome
2003 The Moon Show, Short St. Gallery @ Arthouse Gallery, Sydney
2003 The World, Indigenous art exhibition in conjunction with Thornquest Gallery, Brisbane
2002 Love Your Work, Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle
2002 Thornquest Gallery, Gold Coast
2002 Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2002 Coomalie Culture Centre, Bachelor, NT
2002 Women of the East Kimberley, Tandanya, Adelaide
2002 Bett Gallery, Easter Show, Hobart
2002 Span Galleries, Melbourne
2002 Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
2001 Short on Size, Short st. Gallery, Broome
2001 Das Verborgene im Sichtbaren (The Unseen in the Seen), Staedtische Galerie, Wolfsburg, Germany
2001 Past Modern, Short St. Gallery in Sydney
2001 Ochre Show, Short St. Gallery, Broome
2001 Beyond Wings, Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
2001 Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane
2000 State of My Country, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
2000 Gallerie Australis, Adelaide
2000 Ben Grady Gallery, Canberrra
2000 Bett Gallery, Hobart
2000 Chrysalis Publishing, Limited Edition Prints, Melbourne
2000 Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
2000 Kunst der Aborigines, Leverkusen & Dormagen, Germany
2000 BlickDicht: An- und Einblicke. Zeitgenoessische Malerei Australischer Aborigines, Adelhausermuseum, Freiburg, Germany
2000 Traumpfade: Zeitgenoessische Malerei Australischer Aborigines, Staedtische Galerie, Traunstein, Germany
2000 Melbourne Art Fair (Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi & Chrysalis Publishing)
1999 Hale School Annual Art Exhibition, Perth
1999 Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
1999 Bush Garden: Desert Designs Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
1999 Karen Brown Gallery, Darwin
1999 East Kimberley Art Awards, Kununurra
1999 Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
1999 Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
1999 Spirits from an Empty Land, Riverside Studios, London
1995 Paintings by Warmun Women, Australian Girls Own Gallery, Kingston, Canberra
1994 Maintaining Family Tradition, International Year of the Family Conference,
Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide
1994 Australian Heritage Commssion National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award
Exhibition, Old Parliament House, Canberra