Ian Waldron

Walach Dhaarr (Cockle Creek), 2010

oil & acrylic on Tasmanian oak

120 x 150cm

From the artist

With some historical knowledge of the interactions between early French navigators and my own socio-cultural background as an Indigenous person, I see Cockle Creek as a culturally and historically rich and complex site. The contemporary pole-like appearance of the trees is a reminder that connection to land continues in contemporary times and is not lost is the mist of time. Using my own Kurtjar language to replace English language place names and features allows me to both identify commonalities of place and to illustrate the impact of imposing a foreign language on familiar things. John Glover shared the desire to place Indigenous Australians in their landscape.

Judges Comments

Once we saw this work we were of one mind about his subject matter and his work continues to gain depth – historically and technically. It can be difficult for an urban Aboriginal artist to operate in today's context. Many people gravitate to the traditional styles as contemporary works often are all about anger and dispossession, where as Waldron’s work is a powerfully optimistic takes on how we can all live together today.              

Judges: Imants Tillers, Artist, Sydney; Maudie Palmer, Freelance Curator, Victoria; and Jane Stewart, Principal Curator of Art, TMAG


Artist background

Born Normanton, QLD in 1950. Lives and works in Cairns, Queensland. Exhibiting since mid-1990s primarily in NSW, Queensland and Northern Territory. Winner of 12th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award 1995 and finalist in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006. Winner of Port Douglas Art Award 2009. Finalist in Wynne 2006, 2007 & 2007; and Archibald 2007.

Represented by Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane