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Lot #34 - Prince Of Wales (Midpul)

  • Auction House:
    Deutscher and Hackett
  • Sale Name:
    Important Australian Aboriginal Art
  • Sale Date:
    30 Mar 2022 ~ 7pm (AEDT)
  • Lot #:
  • Lot Description:
    Prince Of Wales (Midpul)
    (c.1935 - 2002)
    Body Marks, 1999
    synthetic polymer paint on linen
    123.0 x 86.0 cm
    bears inscription verso: artist's name, title, date, size and Karen Brown Gallery cat. EP16/99
  • Provenance:
    Karen Brown Gallery, Darwin; Private Collection; Sotheby's, Melbourne, 24 July 2007, lot 166; Private collection, Melbourne
  • Notes:
    These paintings ... I paint them on bodies ... young people and old ... ceremony for singing ... dance ... I make the marks'.1  In Larrakia culture the traditional land owners and leaders of ceremonies and dances are referred to as 'King'. In around 1935, Prince of Wales was born Midpul to Larrakia leader King George, at Cullen or Kahlin Beach, which at the time was the untouched bay of Darwin. Both parents passed away when Midpul was very young and he was raised by his mother's family to become a Law and Song Man. His ceremonial skills were legendary, and he led many public corroborees for international visitors. As lead dancer for his people, he led the ceremonial dance for Queen Elizabeth II on her Commonwealth visit to the Northern Territory during the 1970s and accordingly, he was forever after known as Prince of Wales. When he suffered an untimely stroke, his ceremonial responsibilities were curtailed and he took up painting on canvas as a way to ensure that the ceremonial body decorations of his dance and song endured. In 2001, his standing as a Larrakia painter was recognised when he won the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in the Open Painting Category. Painted on a black ground, 'Body Marks', 1999 reinforces the ceremonial body decorations that Prince of Wales wanted to preserve in his painting. The alternate-coloured dotting of the body marks in this particular example is contained within a border of bright white, framing the pattern of red, yellow and white dots together to create an intense energy within the work. These are the markings Prince would have originally painted onto the bodies of his clansmen prior to a ceremonial dance but here they are transferred as a permanent record for posterity. The work was painted just over a year after his landmark solo exhibition of 1997 at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi in Melbourne. 1. Midpul, Prince of Wales in ‘Notes on Prince of Wales and the Gwalwa Daraniki Land Movement’, kindly provided by Grant Smith at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, 1997. CRISPIN GUTTERIDGE
  • Estimate:
    A$15,000 - 20,000
  • Realised Price:

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  • Category:

This Sale has been held and this item is no longer available. Details are provided for information purposes only.

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