Old Man Looking Out
circa 1930 -
Goody Barrett is a Kija woman in her fifties and lives at Turkey Creek. She is a significant senior Law woman known for her singing and painting talents. Goody has a tremendous capacity for formal invention and a distinctive treatment of the familiar landforms in her country.
'Old Man Looking Out' 1999 represents a favourite subject for the artist. It tells the story of an old man (the stone sitting on top) looking out from the top of an escarpment at a kangaroo and dingo below. In the drive between Crocodile Hole and Turkey Creek this landmark may be clearly observed. A massive escarpment dominates at a point beside the road covered by majestic boulders that seem to defy gravity and time. At the top, the old man balances with awesome presence enhanced by the play of light at dusk.
'Old Man Looking Out' 1999 represents an outstanding example of Goody's work, it reveals her capacity for formal invention and preoccupation with framing the image with 'corners'. Her painting of the escarpment boulders form a multi-coloured, musical painter's palette almost evoking the song of the old man and his clapsticks. This painting brings many aspects of Kija culture together - country, story telling, painting and singing.
Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 1999
Place where the work was made
natural pigments on linen canvas
122.0 x 135.0 x 3.2 cm stretcher
Signature & date
Signed u.r. verso, black fibre-tipped pen "GOODY". Not dated.
Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1999
Not on display
© Goody Barrett, courtesy Warmun Art Centre. Licensed by Copyright Agency
Where the work was made
Warmun (Turkey Creek)
Shown in 2 exhibitions
My Country: an exhibition of paintings from Crocodile Hole, School of Fine Arts Gallery, Darwin, 04 Mar 1999–Unknown
Sentient lands, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Jun 2016–08 Oct 2017