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Jandamarra prepares for final battle in new work

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Jandamarra prepares for final battle in new work

15 Aug 2014

Two women hold a painted canvas.
Curators Jay Arthur (left) and Barbara Paulsen with Preparation for Battle at 6 Mile Creek, by Kimberley artist Jack Macale. Photo: Judith Hickson.

Acquisition of painting by Jack Macale

Renowned Bunuba resistance figure Jandamarra is the subject of a painting recently acquired by the National Museum of Australia. Preparation for Battle at 6 Mile Creek refers to the Jandamarra's last battle, where he was badly wounded and managed to escape only to be killed after being tracked to Tunnel Creek.

The painting is by Jack Macale from the Bunuba/Walmajarri/Gooniyandi/Djaru language groups. Macale is also a grandson of Daisy Andrews, an important Kimberley artist.

In this painting, Macale portrays Jandamarra as a man of Bunaba and British worlds. Jandamarra is depicted wearing a stockman's outfit, with a rifle in his right hand, and a hand-gun in his belt on the right side. In his left hand he holds two spears, with an axe and boomerang in his belt on the left. With his face painted up, Jandamarra stands in a classic Kimberley landscape, solitary, as Bunaba hero and British outlaw.

Jandamarra, who Macale learned about from his elders as a child, has become an important influence in his more recent work, where he merges historical accounts of Jandamarra's struggle and resistance to European invasion of the Kimberley region with local Dreaming stories.

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