Friday, 16 October 2009

Renowned Aboriginal Artist Passes away

1 comments
Sad news today with the passing of a one of Australia's most prominent and decorated Aboriginal Artists. The articles below go into detail of his achievements but it is certainly safe to say he will be remembered as one of the countries finest Indigenous artists and an absolute master of traditional rock painting.

The family has asked that the name he is most commonly known by not be published and for him to be referred to as Wamud Namok.. We will also respect that wish at this time however i invite readers to email me for Wamud's details as many will know his works but not be familiar with this traditional name.

R.I.P.

Renowned Aboriginal rock artist dies

By Adrienne Francis

Barrk, the black rock wallaroo
A 2004 rock painting by the artist, showing Barrk, the black rock wallaroo, being speared by a mimi spirit. (Warddeken Land Management)

One of the nation's most renowned Aboriginal rock artists has died.

The 83-year old Northern Territory elder passed away on his country at the West Arnhem Land outstation of Kabulwarnamyo.

For cultural reasons, his name cannot be published.

His family has asked that he be referred to as Wamud Namok.

He was one of only two Indigenous Territorians to be made an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to the arts and Indigenous land management.

He worked in the tin mining industry and served in the military during World War II.

He went on to become a consultant to anthropologists, art historians, botanists and researchers.

The Member for Arafura, Marion Scrymgour, says he leaves behind a significant legacy for not only his people but for all Australians.

"He leaves a void," she said.

"His legacy is going to be hard for, he leaves it and that is a fantastic thing that I think you know there was still so much wisdom and guidance that was needed."

The Jawoyn Association says his death is a great loss to Australia and the world.

Wamud Namok was helping the association record the stories of thousands of rock art sites on their traditional lands.

The association's Wes Miller says the elder held a wealth of cultural knowledge and understanding.

"He was one of the last of those old people who've physically walked the country, participated fully and grew up in a very traditional lifestyle," Mr Miller said.

"He lived his lifestyle and culture right through this life.

"And enormous knowledge that he had not only in his country but down in Jawoyn country as well and other places as well."

Article courtesy of the ABC

Aboriginal rock artist dies

16:15 AEST Fri Oct 16 2009
By Tara Ravens

One of Australia's grand old masters of Aboriginal art has died in Arnhem Land.

Bark works by Wamud Namok hang on walls in every major art gallery in Australia and feature in several international collections.

But despite his success in the elite art world, the renowned rock artist was a man of the bush who lived for the land.

The 83-year-old died on his country at the remote West Arnhem Land outstation of Kabulwarnamyo, where he has been preserving the past for future generations for almost 60 years.

"Wamud Namok has been one of the region's most important and loved artists," said a statement issued by the local community on Friday.

"He has been extremely generous with his knowledge, taking on an important role as teacher."

Born on the Arnhem Land Plateau in 1926, Wamud Namok worked in the tin mining industry and served in the Katherine region with the military during the Second World War.

But he also spent much of his life traversing the traditional walking tracks of Arnhem Land.

It was on the rocky escarpment, tropical savannas and coastal wetlands that he met with extended kin, hunted and took place in ceremonies.

And it became his vision to bring his people back to care for their traditional lands.

The statement, issued by Warddeken Land Management, described his knowledge of the land and rock art as "unparalleled".

"(It) represents a link with the past and a particular way of life which has now changed forever," it said.

Wamud Namok is believed to be the last Aboriginal artist to have painted works on the rock walls of western Arnhem Land and his early work, with their intricate and particular X-ray style, can still be found in sandstone shelters today.

In his later years, the ceremony man's knowledge was sought by anthropologists, art historians, botanists and other researchers.

He was also a regular speaker at regional land management conferences.

"Through this spirit of generosity he was able to share his knowledge of the Territory with both indigenous and non-indigenous Australians," said NT Arts Minister Gerry McCarthy.

"His knowledge of Territory history, places, land management and available resources and religious significance has become invaluable."

In 2004, Wamud Namok was one of only two indigenous Territorians to be made an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to the arts and indigenous land management.

He was also commissioned to paint a large mural at Darwin Airport while another painting was used on the Australian 40 cent stamp, issued in 1982.

A funeral will be held in his home of Kabulwarnamyo.

Article from Ninemsn News

 

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