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Contemporary art

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

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My dad, Churchill Cann



Charlene Carrington


1979 -

Language group

Gija, Kimberley region


A first time Archibald finalist, Charlene submitted the following regarding her entry:

“Charlene Carrington’s subject is her dad, Churchill Cann. ‘Dad was a stockman working on Texas Country on the Queensland/NSW border, where he was born. He started painting when he moved to Warmun, painting with Gija elders Rover Thomas [Wangkajunga], Queenie McKenzie, and George Mung Mung. They taught me how to paint and taught me stories of this Country. I always listened, and always paint the stories,’ she says.

‘In the painting, that brown hill, his hat, is Red Butte. That’s a good fishing place and where the old people used to hang out. That yellow part of his hat is the sandy ground around Red Butte, the buttons are the Texas rock holes. When we were young we used to walk up there and go swimming. It’s real clear, like a big pool. The moon on his neck is the necklace I gave him that he always wore.
‘I used to draw in school and learned how to draw faces, but it’s pretty hard with ochre. I think this will be the last portrait I do, I wanted to paint one of Dad.’

This work was a finalist in the Archibald Prize 2020 and was acquired by the Gallery in 2020.




Materials used

natural ochre, pigment and PVA fixative on linen


70.0 x 70.0 x 3.0 cm


Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors' Group 2020


Not on display

Accession number


Archibald Prize

- 2020

Artist information

Charlene Carrington

Works in the collection


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history