Photo: Brendan Esposito
Paddy Bedford, 1922-2007
Paddy bedford's landscapes were of his mother and father's dreaming, of the emu, turkey and black cockatoo, and of the massacres. They are simple and contemporary, yet deal with complex issues of indigenous culture, myth, memory and black-white relationships.
Paddy experiments freely with colour, form and pictorial space in his paintings, ranging from his early, densely patterned panels of red, yellow and black ochres, to his recent, expansive canvases in black and white, interspersed by vivid gouaches on paper.
Heart of Blackness
Paddy Bedford, Cockatoo Dreaming,2002
Ochres / pigm with acrylic binder on Belgian linen
180 x 150 cm
Paddy has painted ceremonially all his life, but began painting on canvas for the art market after the establishment of the Jirrawun Aboriginal Art cooperative by Freddie Timms in 1997. Paddy was one of the original members of the cooperative, set up to sell members' artworks through commercial galleries to the public on the same terms as white artists.
Paddy's work is sparse in composition and bold in colour and form, depicting traditional dreaming stories as well as stories from the artist's own lifetime. His canvases may show abstracted road, property boundaries, rivers, campl liafe and stock yards, or turkey, emu and cockatoo dreamings.
Unlike several other indigenous arts cooperatives around Australia, the members of the Jirrawun cooperative continue to paint with ground natural pigments rather than acrylic paint.
Paddy Bedford, Untitled ,2003
Gouache on acid-free crescent board
51 x 76 cm
Light Creek, 2004
Paddy Bedford, Dingo Dreaming, 2001,
ochre on canvas, 122 x 135cm.
ONE SUN ONE MOON-ABORIGINAL ART IN AUSTRALIA [p.239 - 247]
Art Right Now2 http://gallery.discoverymedia.com.au/artzinePub/story.asp?id=360§ion=ExNews
Raft Artspace - Paddy Bedford http://www.raftartspace.com.au/PaddyBedford.html
Paddy Beford - visual art preview from The Blurb http://www.theblurb.com.au/Issue77/PaddyBedford.htm