Annual Catalogue of Important Australian Indigenous Art

D’lan Davidson & William Mora – Video Transcript, 17 May 2016

D’lan Davidson:  It’s great to be here in your gallery William, in Richmond in Melbourne, for the exhibition we’re putting on for the second of June 2016.

William Mora: I’m really looking forward to not only the exhibition but to our collaboration. Hopefully we can make this an annual event.  I’m very excited by the prospect of you collecting masterpieces to put on in my gallery once a year.  I’m delighted.

Perhaps I could start by talking about the Paddy Bedford that I’m putting in.

DD: One of the centrepieces to the exhibition.

WM: It’s from the estate, and as you know I’ve been representing the estate since hi sad passing in 2007.  The work I’ve decided to include in your exhibition is one of the really rare pieces in the estate in the sense that it has colour not usually associated with Kimberley Art.  That is there is a bright patch of blue and of yellow.  There are very few paintings in the estate where Paddy ventured out of the traditional ochres.  The work is called ‘Saddlers Jump Up’ and has all the gestural warmth and charm of Paddy’s other works but with this added intrigue of these two areas of colour.

DD: So the Paddy forms a great part as the centrepiece of the contemporary within the exhibition, but we’ve also got some great early artefacts and one that comes to mind in particular is exceptional and large early rainforest shield.  It measures over about a metre in length, has it’s paint fully intact and is probably the best one I’ve ever handled – and I’ve handled a couple.

And that leads onto, we’ve got an exceptional bark painting by Jimmy MidjawMidjaw.  A great painting of a magic female figure with contorting arms and legs – highly desired in the marketplace. So that’s another fantastic example.

WM: That’s a very important name in the bark world.

DD: He’s one of the major artists, yes.

Finally we’ve got many exceptional artefacts but one that particularly comes to mind is a ‘Sydney Sword’ club.  Now these are incredibly rare – I was reading that Stan Florek, from the Australian Museum, was saying that there were maybe 3 or 4 that he knows of in existence.  And we’ve found one and that will come to the market in June as well.

WM: Sounds like a museum piece.  Maybe we should just change the name of the gallery to museum for the month?

DD: That sounds good – ‘The Mora Museum’!

WM: It doesn’t have to be my name!

DD: We have a fantastic painting by Shorty Lungkata which exhibited at Tjukurrtjanu at the National Gallery of Victoria and, where you’ll be next month – the Quai Branly Museum

WM: I saw the show in Paris actually.  They’d hung the boards in the circular, it looked absolutely superb.  The audience reaction was phenomenal.  So to have a board that was in that show hanging here makes me think that it’s even more of a museum show – well done in getting that!

DD: Well also it’s recently been denied export, so it’s regarded as too important of a work to be able to export it overseas – so that’s how highly regarded it is.

WM: Yes. D’lan I think we should stress the point that this is going to be a museum-quality show and it’s actually free to come and view it. I’d stress for the general public what a great opportunity that is.

DD: Good point!