In this work, Chapman depicts the edible native succulent kalaru (samphire). Kalaru grows in abundance around the warla (salt lakes) and lyinji (clay pans) of Chapman’s Country. The plant sheds edible black seeds that are collected, rinsed many times over, ground into a flour, then used to make damper. It is a time consuming dish that is still created for special occasions today.
Chapman’s painting practice is defined by a similar commitment to process. In this work, the delicate fanning of kalaru fronds gently frame Chapman’s meticulously fine dot work, representing a cache of jewel-like seeds. Chapman’s masterful use of colour and layering add a depth and movement to the work that seems to ripple with the motion of winnowing.
Donegan’s painting ‘Walka Wiru Ngura Wiru’ transports us across the vast desert country surrounding the Tomkinson Ranges near the artist’s home community of Kalka, in the far north-western reaches of South...