Born in 1948 on Mabel Downs Station, Shirley Purdie is Warmun artist and elder. She began to paint in the 1980s and sort inspiration from more senior Warmun artists including her late mother, Madigan Thomas, Rover Thomas and Queenie McKenzie. Purdie’s work exemplifies the well known style of the Warmun people using ochre and natural pigments on canvas to create textured compositions.

In her work, Purdie explores the colonial incursion onto country, spirituality and the relationship between Gija interpretations of Ngarranggarni (Dreaming) and Catholicism.


Cecilia Jackson
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