- Jeanette Hoorn
(b Perth, Jan 31, 1969).
Australian Aboriginal painter and photographer of Badimaya and Yamatji descent. Convent educated, she trained at Curtin University and at the Claremont School of Art, both in Perth, between 1992–5. Dowling gained broad recognition from the late 1990s with her confronting and haunting paintings that tell stories about her family and the history of British colonialism and race relations in Western Australia (see fig.). Rather than working in a traditional indigenous vocabulary, Dowling paints in a global style, incorporating a remarkable range of traditions. These include social realism, icon painting, Pop art and Surrealism, as well as Australian indigenous art. She combines these styles in a unique way in paintings that range from miniature icons to large studio portraits. Her style is ‘painterly’ and Post-modern, her imagery decidedly political.
Photographs from her childhood spent in suburban Perth are the basis for some of her group portraits. These family snaps act as an aide-mémoire in her paintings and her work is influenced by and contributes to the international debate that the French historian Pierre Nora’s work has engendered around history and memory. Her ...