DEEP SPACE

Friday 2 – Saturday 17 June

Lydia Balbal

Mangala Country

Lydia Balbal, Bin Bin, acrylic on canvas, 122 x 76cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Short Street Gallery, WA.

Opening Event: Friday 2 June 6-8pm

Lydia Balbal is a Mangala woman. She was married to the Yulparija artist Nabiru Bullen until his death in 2009. Lydia’s country is near Punmu in the Great Sandy Desert of W.A. Her people’s existence was threatened by severe drought so that they had little choice but to leave their traditional country. Her family were some of the last to walk out to the coastal town of Bidyadanga (then La Grange Mission) located two hours south of Broome in the early 70s. Lydia first began painting in 2007 but has already received significant attention from collectors and the media alike.

List of Works

Bin Bin, acrylic on canvas, 101 x 80cm.Image courtesy of the artist and Short Street Gallery.

Lydia says “My brother born this country. This jila (living water) big one with tali (sand dunes). Man and woman belong this country. This twin place.”
This Mangala country. It is this side of Winpa. There is a lot of campi (bushfood) here especially king brown snake.

Kulampurru, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 90cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Short Street Gallery.

Lydia says, “This a well made of wood, white man he put him on that Kulampurru jila (living water). This my country, Mangala country. I be walking I be big girl be hunting dog, pussycat. My brothers and grandmother we see that well. Easy clean drinking water there.”

Martakulu, acrylic on canvas, 122 x 76cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Short Street Gallery.

Martakulu is a soak out near Punmu near the Canning Stock Route in the Great Sandy Desert in Western Australia. It is strong woman’s country, it is part of the women’s law line. Long time ago a law man he come up to this country, he went home and left his wife and baby. They make him fire and sit down, cook mayi (bush food) and then started to cry for her husband. Her tears made that soak. It is important country this one.
Lydia says “I been young girl walked all around here with my mummy and daddy. We camp and hunt here.”

Winpa, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 60cm, Image courtesy of the artist and Short Street Gallery.

Winpa is jila (living water) located near the Percival Lakes in the Great Sandy Desert in WA. It is an important gathering of the Yulparija and neighbouring groups. They would gather for rain making ceremonies. Lydia walked all around this country with her family until the early 1970s when severe drought forced her people to walk out. They left their traditional country and headed to Le Grange Mission, now Bidyadanga community on the coast south of Broome.

Lydia Balbal is represented by Short Street Gallery, Broome.

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