Margaret Baragurra (c1935 – 2020) was born in Kalpirti located in the Great Sandy Desert of Western Australia. She grew up travelling across the desert region, from waterholes to seasonal wetlands. When a sustained drought in the early 1970s, her people, the Yulparija, walked out of their traditional country and settled in the coastal town of Bidyadanga (formerly known as Le Grange Mission) on the Kimberley coast (some 250 km south of Broome
Margaret Baragurra’s paintings often reflected on these two important locations and are best known for combining traditional designs from the Great Sandy Desert with the vibrant colours of the saltwater landscape of the Kimberley.
Specifically about this painting Baragurra wrote: ‘I was born in Kalpirti, but left this country a long time ago. It is the place of the old people, my mummy and daddy’s place. Kalpirti, this is where my brother and sister were born too, and where my old people died. We ate miningali (damper), bingala, warlji (bush tomato) lots of mayi here (bush food). There is lots of junbi (tall grass) in the tali (sand dunes) where binya grows (a white food that grows on the trees).’
Margaret Baragurra’s work is held in many important collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Parliament House Collection, Canberra, Notre Dame University, University of Newcastle, the Collection of Kerry Stokes, the Laverty Collection and the Queensland State Gallery.
MARGARET BARAGURRA (c1935 – 2020)
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
166 x 110 cm
Titled verso (Short St Gallery #2798)
Short St Gallery, Broome
William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
Private collection, Tasmania