2010/0054.a-c Kirriwirri

Kirriwirri

Artist

Mrs Jan (Djan) BILLYCAN
Aboriginal/Indigenous
Birth:
c 1930
 in
Kirriwirri, Great Sandy Desert, Western Australia
Death:
2015
 in
Bidyadanga, Western Australia

Artwork

Title
Kirriwirri
Date
2009
Medium/Material
synthetic polymer paint on plywood
Dimensions
three panels, 90.0 x 60.0 cm (each) (Height x Width x Depth)
Credit line
Purchased through The Leah Jane Cohen Bequest, Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2010
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession Number
2010/0054.a-c
Currently not on display

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Extended Label

Jan grew up in Ilyarra country. There are jila (living water) in this country including Kirriwirri, Dodo, Kurtal and Yukarri. When Jan was young she walked all around these places with her s ‘in living water there is a quiet snake. Sometimes he rises up, but we sing him down sometimes he can travel and bring rain. Ilyarra is my country where I grew up. Lots of tali (sand dunes) and jila in this country. This big dog country.

Curatorial insightJan Billycan is one of the oldest of a group of artists that have emerged from the Bidyadanga community, which is situated south of Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. She is one of the artists who left their homelands in the Great Sandy Desert in the 1960s and relocated to the Bidyadanga community. Through ceremony and song, the artists have kept their relationship to their homelands strong, and in recent years painting has also become significant in the documentation and transference of important cultural knowledge. Billycan’s repeated motif Kirriwirri is prominently featured within all of her paintings and is not only the artist’s birth site but is also a site of cultural significance for her community. (AGWA 2011)

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Vernon id: 19246