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Unlocking the Doors of Dreaming

ReDot Fine Art Gallery is hosting Paddy JAPALJARRI STEWART’s first ever Solo Exhibition, titled Panu’ (All); a fitting climax to a career of a man whose knowledge of the desert and its mystical laws is ALL encompassing.  This amazing man is a force to be reckoned with and has accomplished so much in his lifetime – from a school bus driver, to a remarkable artist. 

ReDot Fine Art Gallery is fortunate enough to have the only exhibit of replicas of the Yuendumu door school project along with the artist proof version of the works on paper.  Paddy has painted this entire series, recounting and re-telling each of the dreamings depicted on those iconic doors so many years ago.

In the early 1970s the people of Yuendumu began transferring their traditional stories, dreamings (tjukurrpa) and ground paintings to western mediums such as canvas boards and plywood; then to the doors of the Yuendumu school.  In 1984 five aboriginal artists, including Paddy, painted thirty iconic doors at the Yuendumu school.  These thirty doors represented the dreaming of the Warlpiri people, an extraordinary history of sacred rituals, painted to remind the children of their patrimony – the web of sites and obligations that extend across Warlpiri country.

Paddy, who is the only surviving artist of the original five, was widely acknowledged as being the force behind the school project given his close ties to the school and his role of teaching young children both kardiya and yapa (non-aboriginal and aboriginal).  He is a gentle, intelligent man, incredibly knowledgeable about the country and the laws associated with it and he has had an extraordinary life as an artist. His artistic career commenced in the early 1980’s and has only gained momentum and significance through the years, over 100 group shows have included this cultural heavyweight’s work and it remains a mystery why it has taken until 2012 to witness the first ever solo exhibition of his works at the tender age of 76 or so.

The combination of Paddy’s stately importance within the Warlpiri community, the deferral to his ancestral knowledge, his advancing years, combined with the impact and cultural significance of the doors, make this particular exhibition a once in a lifetime experience.  This is not a show to miss.  This is a show that will make an irreversible impression on your understanding and appreciation of culture, art and Aboriginal civilization.

Colourful, brightly painted works, with important iconographical content, will rest side by side, providing the audience with a map of the sacred and important spiritual sites and ceremonies of the Warlpiri people; something rarely seen in this concentrated context.

The exhibition opened Wednesday February 15th and runs till Saturday March 31st 2012.  ReDot Fine Art Gallery invites anyone fascinated by indigenous art and culture to step into a world that is familiar in its simplicity but memorizing in its depth and wonder.  The living stories virtually leap off each canvas.

Here is a selection of some of the works on display.

“Panu (All)” Paddy JAPALJARRI STEWART Solo Exhibition
Title: Water Dreaming
Medium: Acrylic on Belgian Linen
Size: 107cm x 46cm
Code: 1948/11

“Panu (All)” Paddy JAPALJARRI STEWART Solo Exhibition
Title: Wedge-tailed Eagle Dreaming
Medium: Acrylic on Belgian Linen
Size: 107cm x 46cm
Code: 2017/11

“Panu (All)” Paddy JAPALJARRI STEWART Solo Exhibition
Title: Crow, Possum and Dawn Dreaming
Medium: Acrylic on Belgian Linen
Size: 107cm x 46cm
Code: 2013/11


Exhibition Name: “Panu (All)” Paddy JAPALJARRI STEWART Solo Exhibition

Exhibition Dates: Now till Saturday, 31st March 2012

ReDot Fine Art Gallery
39 Keppel Road
Tanjong Pagar Distripark
Unit #02-06 S089065

Tel/Fax: +65 6222 1039

[email protected]

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday : 12pm – 7pm              
Sunday/Monday/Public Holiday – Open by Appointment

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About GeraldineLee (52 Articles)
Docent; art, culture, vacation and Louboutin junkie- Geraldine hopes to eventually dust off her Lomo Diana Mini one day and pretend she's a bona-fide photographer.