(Australia circa 1922–14 Jul 2007)
122.0 x 135.3cm stretcher
Paddy Bedford was born at Bedford Downs station, Western Australia and worked as a stockman on several Kimberley stations before eventually moving with his family to Warmun. As a senior Gija man he has been involved in painting as part of ceremony all his life. He began painting on canvas for exhibition after joining Jirrawun Aboriginal Art Corporation in 1998 (Jirawun was established in 1997) and is now one of the leading artists from the East Kimberley region.
'Untitled' 1998 is an extremely early example of Bedford's work, completed just months after he began painting. As with all of Bedford's works 'Untitled' 1998 overlays Ngarrangkarni, history and country in an apparently abstract manner, which belies the depth of the knowledge contained within. When compared to the sparse compositions of his most recent paintings 'Untitled' 1998 is densely worked with numerous bolder like elements jostling one another for space, encroaching on the yellowed ochre form that defiantly cuts across the canvas. The subtle dotted outlining, painterly application of ochre, bold geometric forms and strong sense of space evident in this work form the basis from which Bedford's current work has been distilled.
© Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2006
Russell Storer (Australia) (Author), Paddy Bedford, Sydney, 2006, 143 (colour illus.). PB 1998.10