Born: Adelaide, SA
LANGUAGE GROUP:: Gurindji
COMMUNITY:: Katherine, NT
Tarisse King is a proud Indigenous woman, from a bloodline of Gurindji and Waanyi First Nations people. She is the older sister to fellow artist, Sarrita King and daughter to the late highly regarded artist, William King Jungala (1966 - 2007).
Tarisse's ability to capture the complex and varied soul of the land has seen her achieve remarkable success for an artist of her age. As well as featuring in numerous solo and group exhibitions, Tarisse is represented in galleries in every Australian state, as well as being included in many high profile Australian and international art collections.
Tarisse spent the majority of her youth in Darwin. Her ancestral Gurindji land was close by and from a young age she was exposed to the imperious weather and extreme landscapes that shaped her forefather's lives. In particular, the torrential rain and cyclones in the Wet Season and the oppressive and immobilising heat in the Dry Season.
This climatic impact is seen in her artwork, but it was also the road trips she travelled between Darwin, Katherine and Adelaide, where her father resided, that are the main inspirations for her paintings. The journey of 3027 kilometres, right through the heart of Australia, reveals extreme expanses of varying landscapes and provided Tarisse with the opportunity to develop a unique perception of the land.
Tarisse shares the stories of her ancestors and Country as told by her father. Predominantly told in art form through acrylic paint on canvas, she is dotting the experience of her people. She has created an incredible suite of painting series, all aimed at connecting audiences to the oldest living culture in the world.
Her 'Earth Images' paintings depict the first story and artistic style her father taught her. They are a macro view of the land around the small town of Katherine. They detail meandering rivers, small tributaries, active and abandoned campsites. These artworks keep her connected to her father, the ancestors and to her sister.
Her 'My Country' paintings depict symbols inspired by the landscape of Kalkarindji/Wave Hill. The Gurindji tribe have travelled and lived in this area for many generations. Each symbol, dot and line has meaning. The artworks are complex yet simple in tone. Like a negative exposure of the landscape.
The Earth Cycles series draws on her father's philosophy that everything in life is circular. The connection between people and the world around them is ongoing. She echoes her father's values with the repetition of concentric circles across the canvas with thick paint and colour bleeding into one another.
Her Fire series brilliantly captures the electrifying power of this untamed natural element that is an important source of survival for her people. Likewise, her water series captures the depth, movement, and rejuvenating properties of another important natural element.
Tarisse has a deep understanding of who she is, her family background, social and geographical history. Her art constantly strives to honour her father's teachings, respecting her culture and ancestors, while being unique and individual to her own life experiences.
Tarisse's art cannot be reduced to a painting pure and simple. They are never single, isolated images. They are part of a larger story, of philosophies that have been inherited and that are to be recreated for the next generation. As a mother currently living in New Zealand, her art practice has become an important medium in sharing her knowledge and preserving the traditions of her ancestors.
Tarisse and her sister are always investigating other mediums to express their stories, which has resulted in a range of collaborations and public projects. Later in 2021, the sisters will debut their first sculptural works.
Tarisse is a passionate and assertive individual who maintains an incredible level of creative output whilst also raising her five children. We have delighted in Tarisse's artistic evolution, and we look forward to what the future holds.
Copyright Kate Owen Gallery August 2021