A Colourful Life Celebrated


Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Mrs Gabori), Dibirdibi Country, © Mrs Gabori 2011/Licensed by Viscopy.
Dibirdibi Country Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Mrs Gabori), Dibirdibi Country, © Mrs Gabori 2011/Licensed by Viscopy.

Respected traditional Kaiadilt elder and Viscopy member Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Mrs Gabori) sadly passed away last month, leaving behind a legacy as one of Australia’s most extraordinary contemporary artists.

Mrs Gabori exploded onto the art scene in 2005 when she began painting at Mornington Island Art at the age of 81, sharing her unique perspective in paint. Her artworks told stories from the breadth of her experience – ranging from early island life on Bentinck Island in Queensland’s Gulf of Carpentaria – to being at the frontier of globalised Australia as a contemporary artist of international repute.

Despite this rare personal perspective, her work transcended linguistic and cultural boundaries to connect with universal themes of love, loss and longing. Her artwork earned her an international reputation with pioneering pieces being collected by leading galleries and collectors nationally and internationally. Her work was also chosen by the Australian Government to represent the vitality of Australian contemporary art to the rest of the world, notably for the Australia exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

In development for some time is a new book that celebrates her artwork. Renowned art collector Patrick Corrigan AM worked with Viscopy to license the rights to reproduce her artworks in a stunning 192-page volume, Gabori: The Sally Gabori Collection of Patrick Corrigan, published by Macmillan Art.

The stories around her artwork were written by curator Djon Mundine OAM who travelled to Mornington Island to interview and photograph Mrs Gabori, while the book’s Editor Candice Baker shaped the account of her life. The book follows Patrick Corrigan’s earlier publications, New Beginnings and Power + Colour: New Paintings from the Corrigan Collection of 21st Century Aboriginal Art. It will be released on 20 April in Melbourne and on 30 April in Sydney.

A major solo exhibition of her work is currently in development and will open at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art in May 2016.

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