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Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander art The Kimberley

The Kimberley region of Western Australia is renowned for the Wandjina figures painted on rock walls, a tradition dating back thousands of years. The Wandjina Ancestors are responsible for bringing rain and providing regrowth and renewal for the Aboriginal people of the area.

Within the Kimberley there are many distinct artistic styles. The interlocking geometric patterns that adorn ritual and decorative objects—such as shells, shields and spearthrowers—from the western Kimberley are a feature of the work of contemporary artists from the Balgo and Fitzroy Crossing area. From the early 1980s, a new art tradition emerged led by Paddy Jamiji and Rover Thomas who introduced bold textured and ochred landscape paintings of country and of significant historic events.