Peters, Rusty (Dirrji)
- Ian McLean
(b Springvale cattle station, Western Australia, 1935).
Australian Aboriginal painter. Peters is a member of the Gija-speaking peoples from the East Kimberley region in North-western Australia. The Gija painting movement began around 1980 at Turkey Creek (now Warmun) and Peters worked closely with this first generation of ochre painters for 20 years as an educator in indigenous cultural programmes. His painting career began in 1997 when he joined Jirrawun Arts—an innovative Gija collective established by the painter Freddie Timms (b 1946) with Artistic Director Tony Oliver. Their aim was to promote interaction between Gija and gardiya (non-Aborigines), and economic independence by marketing East Kimberley art directly to contemporary art galleries. Peters first exhibited in a group exhibition of Jirrawun art in 1998 and had his first solo exhibition the next year. From then on he exhibited regularly in Sydney and Melbourne, and his paintings have featured in several survey exhibitions.
Peters painted in the distinctive minimalist Turkey Creek manner made famous by his close friend ...