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Lin Onus, a Yorta Yorta artist of Aboriginal and Scottish descent, represents a singular voice in Australia’s cultural life. Esteemed for his wit, talent and panache, Onus’s work is a negotiation of culture identity, using both Aboriginal and Western techniques to unsettle categorisation. After being racistly expelled from school at age fourteen, Onus worked as a mechanic and activist, before teaching himself to draw. He forged a style that combined photo-realism, surrealism and indigenous iconography. Not only was this reflective of his heritage, it also represented his attitude at large, which championed reconciliation over alienation.
Recognisably Onus, ‘Djalng Baltjigi Nyuni Djinigima (Stingrays and Rocks)’ captures a stingray (a personally significant animal to the artist) as it glides through water. The distinction between land, sea and sky ripples. Onus’s stingray, like Indigenous peoples, is displaced from its environment and propelled into an uncertain realm. In the glassy water however it does not swim, it flies.
Detailed, multi-coloured and impeccably composed, ‘Djalng Baltjigi Nyuni Djinigima (Stingrays and Rocks)’ testifies to an artist whose artistic vision was matched by his activism. Caught between different worlds, Onus wrote in 1990 that he hoped to be remembered as a “bridge between cultures, technology and ideas”. With representation in most major Australian collections and an OBE, it is undoubtable that he has.
For collectors of important Australian, Aboriginal and contemporary art, look deeper with ‘Djalng Baltjigi Nyuni Djinigima (Stingrays and Rocks)’. Lin ONUS (1948 - 1996)'Djalng Baltjigi Nyuni Djinigima (Stingrays and Rocks)' 1996Screenprint on paperEdition of 70Image Size: 30 x 70 cm Dimensions: 50 x 70 cm Signed: Signed, dated, and numbered in pencil in margin below image: /70 Djalng Baltjigi Nyuni Djinigima Lin Onus; bears the seal of The Estate of Lin Onus lower right.Comes with Letter of Provenance.Condition: Very Good: Describes a work of art’s image as Excellent, but may show some small signs of surrounding wear. There are no tears to paper margin or disruption to image.
© Lin Onus / Copyright Agency 2022
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