Artist: Paddy Bedford

Paddy Bedford and one of his paintings, Biriyalji - Fish Hole (2000), at the MCA.
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.


Art Right Now2 http://gallery.discoverymedia.com.au/artzinePub/story.asp?id=360&section=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
picture: http://www.shermangalleries.com.au/images/artists/07CT4318.jpg

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