Jackie Wirramanda (Wergaia and Djupagulk Gunditj, while on her mother’s side she also brings a connection with Tatiara of South Australia) is a Victorian indigenous multidisciplinary artist, renowned for her paintings as well as jewellery, textiles, and ceramics, for the latter of which she had been selected as a finalist in the 2018 Indigenous Ceramic Award at the Shepparton Art Museum. Jackie’s paintings are inspired by Lake Tyrrell, in North-Western Victoria, a sacred site of the artist’s ancestors. They feature aspects of traditional iconography, such as pools of water, sites of gatherings, and paths of journeys.
Paintings from Grandmothers’ Country series reference the ability of salt deposits to take on and reflect any of the colours of the surrounding environment, resulting in rich pinks, reds, blues, and purples which the urban dwellers would not normally associate with salt. Paintings from Walking on Country series depict the lake at low tide, when the earth and natural ochre deposits are tinted by the layers of dried salt and enlivened by the shimmer of shallow pools.
An important aspect of Jackie’s work is the narrative of the female experience within—and women’s contribution to—the local indigenous communities. In the large, colourful Walking on Country, sites of gatherings around shallow water pools at Lake Tyrrell is overlayed with images of dillybags, referencing the traditional craft of weaving, as well as women’s central role in nurture and food preparation. The more complex art of basket weaving is referenced in Weaving the Country. The beautifully layered imagery of Ngumpaties takes us into the sacred world of women’s ceremonies and body decoration, where tinted ochres and salts are used to create intricate designs on women’s bodies. The artist currently lives and works in Chinkapook, in Central Victoria.
Selected Solo Exhibition
Walpa Winaka (To Burn and Leave), Metro Gallery
Selected Recent Group Shows
Summer Salon, Metro Gallery, Melbourne
Awards and Prizes
Finalist, Indigenous Ceramic Award, Shepparton Art Museum
Corporate and Private Collections in Australia and abroad