Ian Waldron

Yungaburra QLD
  • The Norman River, Kurtjar Country 
(Gulf of Carpentaria)  2014
    Acrylic and oil on canvas board
    Dimensions: 100 x 240 cm
    Courtesy of the artist and FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane

    Photography: Mick Richards

This painting is about Kurtjar country in the far north of Queensland, and our country runs from the Normanton River up to the Stanton River, and there is about a million acres of land there that is our country known as Delta Downs.

At the top of the painting you see the blue coming into the land, but there is no coastline as such because the land is so flat. There are no mountains in our country – the water melds right into the land across big massive plains and mudflats that flood in the wet season, and so the water comes in quite a way.

It is my mother’s family country, and the words in the painting describe the places and things found there. I do not speak the language but I think it is very important to know of these things. This language gives me a greater feeling for the country and what’s been happening there. My clan totem is the bloodwood tree… it is hard timber with a sap that seeps out like blood, and it grows all over our country from the mudflats on the coast to the savannah lands.

I am in two places – because fishing and going out in the boat and all that has been, and still is, a major part of my life. I still do it as much as I can… fishing and hunting food. Then I go back to the cattle country and that is my country too.

Ian Waldron
Yungaburra, 18 March 2013

Ian Waldron, 2014
Photography: Michael Aird