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The Janama Collection: New Works by Eddie Kitching

GOOGLE EARTH PROVIDES INSIGHT and inspiration for new works by Darwin artist Eddie Janama Kitching.

Kitching comes from a large family of eight sisters and two brothers, with extended family in the remote communities of Daguragu, Kalkarindji, Pidgeon Hole and Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

Eddie’s grandmother was born at Walu Jara Jara (Cattle Creek) on Wave Hill Station, and his mother at Brock’s Creek Station. Both were removed by Government authorities (Stolen Generations) to Darwin in about 1924. 

The Wave Hill area is famous in Australia’s history for the ‘walk off’ in 1966, where Aboriginal stockmen walked off in protest for better working conditions, better pay, and the struggle for land rights. The walk off is recognised as the first fight for land rights in Australia.

Discovering his Grandmother’s country has been a lifelong journey for Kitching, one that has been integral to this creative practice. New ways of seeing have translated into new forms that articulate the rich river systems and sites of Walu Jara Jara and surrounding areas. Kitching has incorporated Google Earth into his research of Country, abstracting the data along with his knowledge of the land into new contemporary forms.

The Janama Collection is a suite of new works depicting the wampana (agile wallaby) and kununarra – ngar na (brolga) – songlines that traverse the landscapes of Walu Jara Jara. Surprising colours and shapes articulate warlu (fire), ngawa (water), junganyina (rain and lightning) and kalarirri (frog Dreaming). This new work represents a shift in Kitching’s longstanding painting practice.


Image: Eddie Kitching, The Janama Collection (detail), 2019, acrylic on canvas

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