Daniel Walbidi wins the 2014 Telstra General Painting Award

Artist and Emerging Leading participant Daniel Walbidi has won this year’s Telstra General Painting Award as part of the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA) at the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

The Judges comments included:  “Uncommon in Aboriginal painting practices, silver and gold pigments are employed in Daniel Walbidi’s Wirnpa and Sons 2014 giving life to the stark bleached saltpans and the parched desert sand dunes of his homelands...  Daniel’s paintings are like satellite photographs that concentrate on typographical complexities while they also eloquently translate his people’s stories as told to him by elders. Daniel is a sophisticated colourist who utilizes both typical desert tones and saltwater hues to narrate the dual nature of the cultural heritage of Bidyadanga with vibrancy and confidence.”

The impressive 2040 x 1710mm artwork titled “Wirnpa and Sons” represents the jila (living water) of his ancestor's country, this is a popular theme in his work as an artist, this country is an important place for Daniel's family who lived in the desert until the early 1970s.

Daniel can usually be found in his hometown of Bidyadanga, south of Broome. As an artist, Daniel is represented by Short Street Gallery, his work is in high demand and is regarded as highly collectable. Daniel is considered as an inspirational driving force in his community, having encouraged many others to share and celebrate their stories through the medium of painting he is also actively involved in the establishment of the Bidyadanga Art Centre.

Alongside fellow Emerging Leader participant, Natalie Hunter, Daniel hopes to bring the Bidyadanga Art Centre to the attention of the world, starting with a presence at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair next year.