– Highlights

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Event

ARTBAR January 2018

Today, 7.00pm, Throughout the MCA

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Exhibition

Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean

01 Nov - 18 Feb

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Exhibition

Jon Campbell: MCA Collection

04 Dec - 25 Feb

– Learning Events

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Event

ARTBAR January 2018

Today, 7.00pm, Throughout the MCA

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Workshop

Contemporary Kids School Holiday Program

23 Jan, 10.30am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

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Event

Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean [Unplugged]

23 Jan, 6.00pm, Level 3: Galleries

– News from inside the MCA

The Importance of Laughter

We sat down with laughter connoisseur Shari Coventry from Sydney Laughter to discover the truth about laughter and why we need it ahead of this month’s Laughter Sessions. more

Coming up in 2018…

Next year is one of the most exciting and diverse seasons yet. Find out what’s on. more

Six Films that Changed My Life (for better or worse): Antenna's Rich Welch

To pave the way for the soon-to-come cinema binge at Antenna Film Festival,Co-Director Rich Welch shared a few of his life changing films. more

– Spotlights from the collection online

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MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

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Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

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Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

The Program promotes Australian art globally, helping Australian artists reach new audiences.

Paddy Bedford

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)

Duration

06 Dec 2006 to 15 Apr 2007

Curator: Russell Storer

about the exhibition

Paddy Bedford’s paintings are a combination of modern materials and traditional pictorial conventions, contemporary experience and ancient belief systems. Born around 1922 on Bedford Downs Station in the remote East Kimberley region of Western Australia, Bedford began painting on canvas and board in 1998 and continued until his passing in 2007. His artistic practice in that time was remarkably prolific and consistently innovative. A senior lawman of the Gija people, Bedford painted as part of ceremony all his life and brought this wealth of symbolic, historical and technical knowledge to bear on his art.

Bedford’s paintings relate the narratives of his mother’s and father’s country, combining the Dreaming stories of the cockatoo, bush turkey and emu with the topography of the land he regularly traversed as a stockman, including rivers, roads, rocks and waterholes. Bedford also created paintings based on accounts of the often brutal interaction between Aboriginal people and white settlers in the early years of the 20th century.

With their large fields of flat colour edged with white dots, Bedford’s works connect to what has been described as the ‘East Kimberley’ or ‘Turkey Creek’ painting movement. This style emerged in the late 1970s and was made famous by artists such as Rover Thomas, Queenie McKenzie and Paddy Jaminji. While his bold compositions of stark, rounded shapes have provided a consistent structure for his paintings, Bedford also experimented with colour, form and pictorial space, with rapid and regular shifts occurring in his work.

This exhibition presented Paddy Bedford’s powerful command of painting, and traced the development of his motifs and techniques over the past decade. It included a series of Bedford’s early, densely patterned panels of red, yellow and black ochres; a selection of his more recent black and white canvases, with their dramatic play between positive and negative space; and a range of his vivid gouache works, their fluid lines and bright colours revealing a spontaneous, playful dimension to the artist’s practice. Together they presented a unique vision, drawing upon the specifics of Bedford’s country and its history as well as connecting to the wider artistic and social concerns at play in contemporary Australia.

Tour Itinerary

  • Art Gallery of Western Australia: 12 May – 22 July 2007
  • Bendigo Art Gallery: 11 August – 16 September 2007
  • University Art Museum, University of Queensland, Brisbane: 16 November 2007 – 1 March 2008
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