Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information




Contemporary art

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

View More:


Untitled, from the Jirrawun Suite



Paddy Bedford


circa 1922 - 14 Jul 2007

Language group

Gija, Kimberley region


The Jirrawun Suite is a unique collection of 23 drawings and paintings by three prominent Gija artists - Hector Jandany, Paddy Bedford and Rusty Peters. The works were made in Melbourne in 1998 where the artists had access to a studio prior to an exhibition. These are seminal works on paper in gouache and pastel created by the Jirrawun artists in the early days of the establishment of the corporation by Freddie Timms. As such, they capture the energy of the period and are a strong affirmation of Gija culture and pride.

Paddy Bedford was born at Bedford Downs station southwest of Warmun (hence his name) and worked as a stockman on several Kimberley stations before eventually moving with his family to Warmun. As a senior law man Bedford has been involved in painting as part of ceremony all his life. He began painting on canvas for exhibition after the establishment of Jirrawun Aboriginal Art Corporation in 1997. It is an indication of his aesthetic vision and ability that he has captured the attention of the art world and is represented in several major collections including the Art Gallery of New South Wales. In these paintings on paper Paddy Bedford uses colours such as bright red, yellow and blue that are not part of his usual palette as he generally paints with crushed ochres, the natural pigments of the east Kimberley, which have a much more subdued quality.

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2002


Place where the work was made

Melbourne Victoria Australia



Media category


Materials used

watercolour and pastel on white wove paper


60.0 x 76.0 cm image/sheet (irreg.)

Signature & date

Signed l.r. verso, pencil "PB". Not dated.


Purchased 2002


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Paddy Bedford

Artist profile

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Referenced in 1 publication


Russell Storer, Paddy Bedford, Sydney, 2006, 164 (colour illus.). 1998.14