Lot 46
  • 46

ROVER THOMAS (JOOLAMA)

Estimate
30,000 - 50,000 AUD
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Description

  • Rover Thomas (Joolama)
  • OWL
  • Natural earth pigments on canvas board
  • 50 by 40.5 cm

Provenance

Painted in 1998 for Mary Macha, Perth
Private collection, acquired from the above

Condition

Painted on Fredrix canvas board, the painting has suffered pigment loss to some of the white dots in particular around the edges. The painting also has various spills and finger marks and smudges on areas of its surface, almost certainly produced by the artist during its execution. There is a small translucent blue pigment spill approximately 2 cm long on the right leg.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Catalogue Note

Cf. For similar paintings see Goolgool the Owl with four young, 1988, in the collection of the Art Gallery of Western Australia in O'Ferrall, M.A., On the Edge: Five contemporary Aboriginal artists: Bede Tungutalum, Rover Thomas, Mandjuwi, Milpurrurru, Trevor Nickolls, The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, 1989, p.36, pl.14, illus; Grugrugi: Owl, 1989, in the Holmes à Court Collection in Brody, A.M. et al, Contemporary Aboriginal Art: The Robert Holmes à Court Collection, Heytesbury Holdings Ltd, Perth, 1990, p.23, pl.1; and Carrigan, B., Rover Thomas: I want to paint, Holmes à Court Gallery, Perth, 2003, catalogue number 20, illus.; see also Story of Owl, 1988, in the collection of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, in Eather, M., and M. Hall, Balance 1990: Views, visions, influences, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 1990, p.18, illus

The Ancestral Owl, which goes by a number of names, is one of the few subjects that the artist rendered in a naturalistic fashion in his paintings. The Owl is a central figure in Kimberley cosmology having established a number of ceremonial practices and is connected to the Wanjina beings. The Wanjina, however, are predominant in western and northern Kimberley, but not so much in the east, where the artist lived and painted. The artist is therefore expressing a link between his original desert heritage and that of the east Kimberley, within the milieu of general Kimberley cosmology