Below is a selection of Paintings from
Renowned Australian Aboriginal Artist, Eddy Harris.
Eddy Harris was born in the small Darling River town of Wilcannia, in far western New South Wales, ( near Broken Hill ).
He is a member of two tribes, the Bakandji, and the Wongaibon, and he comes from a family of eight children. He moved to Broken Hill in the 1980's seeking better opportunities in finding work.
Eddy Harris is a growing story, he is a young aboriginal man who is literally carving out a future for himself and his people.
To quote in part a profile report on Eddy entitled
" Shining Lights of the Outback"
produced by the Educational Department,
it states that
"... in 1993 the Eduction Department was fortunate in gaining Eddy Harris as a part time teacher of Aboriginal Arts and Crafts ...
...From this Eddy has gone from strength to strength and has been in demand from other TAFE units and public schools as a teacher and demonstrator...
...Many of Eddy's fine works of art were sold not only to Australian tourists, but to many international tourists...
...Who knows what is the next step for Eddy ! What a success story... "
In the book photographed above, Art of Broken Hill, Outback Australia, Eddy is featured alongside such artists as Jack Absolom, Pro Hart, Peter Andrew Anderson, Shane Gehlert, Fiona Gibson and others.
The two paintings which launched Eddy's international art career and are featured in this book are the two paintings above. On the left is Wiimpatji Hunting Birds, and on the right is Thunchly Hunting.
Also featured in the Art Book are two immaculately painted didgeridoos, a Catfish painted on an Emu Egg, and a Platypus painted on red river gum.
Eddy now lives locally with his family in Corowa, and is employed by the Albury Campus of the Riverina Institue of Technical and Further Education.
Some of this aboriginal artist's works may be seen at the Doma Mungi Gallery, located at the main corner in Chiltern, Victoria, about 30 kms from Albury Wodonga.
granny used to say to us kids, "if you don't keep quiet the m/ook-m/ook will get you" and we use to go real quiet cause this m/ook-m/ook he made a terrible fearsome noise. It wasn't till a long time later that I found out just what this terrible m/ook-m/ook spirit was - it was just a small bird and even then we still wondered how he had the power to carry noisy kids away.
Power, that's what it was - combined with patience, respect and discipline. The old ones knew and respected this power of the life cycle... everything, animate and manimate had a power and even if you didn't understand it you had to respect it... that was part of the learning. Even the smallest bird had a power spirit that wound himself into your life and when you saw a wedge tailed eagle swoop onto a snake and take him way up into the sky and then drop him onto the rocks for the kill - you had to say to yourself "m/ook-m/ook's brother, he's pretty big." The eagle, he's spiritual totem of the Bakandji and when you consider the majority of his head's taken up with his eyes - it's got to mean something.
If you haven't got the patience and the discipline you went hungry, and if you haven't got the respect, you get bitten, clawed, scratched or worse, dead. Talk about fast food - some of this is pretty fast. That's why I got to put this down - all these thoughts and paintings and sculptures - they're me and what my people the Bakandji represent. I was always taught that life was like the path of the echidna - there's these tracks and you don't know whether they're going forward or back - he's tricky - you have to observe, have to have the experience and after you've back-tracked a hundred times, you start to learn, you become that animal, you capture his spirit but you still have to have respect 'cause he is not going to let you do it easy.
out there, there is not much you can't eat - it's like divining - the seasons - seeing what the animals have eaten gives you a clue - like the goanna, he loves eggs so you want him to make a visit, just spread a few broken shells around and he can't resist - terrible curious, he'll check you out. I guess we're all a little bit like that.
or later they all come to the river and my people, the River People - the Bakandji knew this, but the animals, they're pretty smart too - they also know where we are and that's the story, that's the vision, the never ending search for food - food for the body and food for the spirit - the hunter and the hunted - and I want to share some of it with you.
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