Ginger Riley - The Boss of Colour

  • Ginger Riley - The Boss of Colour

Ginger Riley Munduwalawala was born c.1936 in the bush in South East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. His first language was Marra. He was a traditional man, charismatic, with the gracious manners and reserved characteristic of an initiated Indigenous elder. Riley was the djungkayi, caretaker or custodian of his mother’s country, in accordance with Marra law, and his art presents powerful representations of the traditions and responsibilities under his inherited law. His paintings interpret a sequence of events focused on his mother’s Limmen Bight River country in the Gulf of Carpentaria region, Northern Territory. The artist’s mother is often represented in paintings by the clouds and the sun. Ginger Riley worked on an heroic scale in both concept and style. The compositions were realised in hismind, or seen in his mind’s eye. Inspired by the changing seasons including heavy rain-filled clouds, fine rain and bright sunlight, Riley’s paintings often indicated a call to ceremony, procreation and the creation story. He describes the creation events in his paintings as “same story, different country, different time. “The difference can be seasonal, day or night time. Published on the occasion of the exhibition at Castlemaine Art Museum in 2015.

15cm x 21cm. Paperback. 52 pages.