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date: 22 October 2019

Pike, Jimmylocked

(b nr Japingka, Gt Sandy Desert, W. Australia, c. 1940).
  • Peter Sutton

Extract

(b nr Japingka, Gt Sandy Desert, W. Australia, c. 1940).

Australian Aboriginal painter, printmaker and sculptor.He lived a nomadic hunting and gathering life in the Great Sandy Desert as a boy, until his family, whose native language was Walmatjarri, settled at Cherrabun cattle station near Fitzroy Crossing. He became a stockman and until his forties spent most of his working life in the farming industry. While serving a sentence for murder in Fremantle Prison in 1980, he began to acquire technical skills in Western media such as acrylic paint and screenprinting. The graphic power of his screenprints, for example Rurungurrwarnti, Snake Men (1985; Canberra, N.G.) and Larripuka (1986; Perth, W. Australia, Christensen Fund), and linocuts quickly made his name widely known, and his reputation rose even higher when his paintings, for example Jumirtilangu Parija Purrku II (1987; Robert Holmes à Court priv. col., see Caruana, 1993, pl. 131), with their adventurous use of bright colours and their often dense patterning, attracted public attention during the 1980s, when he was based at Kurlku. His subjects are predominantly traditional Aboriginal ones: either remembered events and routines of his bush boyhood or mythological themes. In both cases his work is intimately focused on the Great Sandy Desert, its physical contents and textures, its history and its cultural and spiritual meaning for Aborigines. Stylistically his work can be related back to ancient sacred designs, which in this region make distinctive use of the interlocking key design. Among his regional contemporaries his work most closely resembles that of Peter Skipper and Jarinyanu David Downs (...

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