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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, ‘Gumbirri Garginini’ is a vision of tranquility. The artist deepens our perspective, looking through the water to the creek bed below. At once, we look from above and within, realising that the landscape is not monolithic nor resolved. Detailed, multi-coloured and impeccably composed, ‘Gumbirri Garginini’ testifies to an artist whose artistic vision was only 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, give your collection new life with ‘Gumbirri Garginini’. Lin ONUS (1948 - 1996)'Gumbirri Garganingi' 1996Screenprint on paperEdition of 85Image Size: 50 x 70 cm Signed: Signed, dated, titled and numbered in pencil in margin below imageComes with Letter of Provenance.Another screenprint from this edition is in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra: ACCESSION NUMBER 2002.87Condition: 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 the image.
© Lin Onus / Copyright Agency 2023
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