Desert Psychedelic - The Art of Jimmy Pike
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Desert Psychedelic - The Art of Jimmy Pike

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A Catalogue of Jimmy Pike's work. Born in the Great Sandy Desert area of Western Australia, Jimmy Pike worked as a stockman and in his spare time did carvings, which he sold to tourists in Fitzroy......

A Catalogue of Jimmy Pike's work. Born in the Great Sandy Desert area of Western Australia, Jimmy Pike worked as a stockman and in his spare time did carvings, which he sold to tourists in Fitzroy Crossing. In the 1980s, while serving a prison sentence, Jimmy Pike joined an art class and began to paint, working in printmaking and produce linocuts. His work is characterised by the used of bold shapes in strongly contrasting earth colours.

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  • 1. Jimmy Pike c 1940 - 2002SOLO exhibitiOnS pubLicatiOnS1985 Aboriginal Artists Gallery, Melbourne. 1987 The Fourth National Aboriginal Art Award 1. Jilji Life in the Great Sandy Desert with Pat1986 Aboriginal Artists Gallery, Sydney. Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Lowe, illustrated by Jimmy Pike Magabala Books Black Swan Gallery, Fremantle. Northern Territory, Darwin 1990 Short-listed for two awards.1987 Ben Grady Gallery, Fremantle 1987 Galerie Exler, Frankfurt 2. Yinti - desert child, with Pat Lowe, illustrated by Tynte Gallery, Adelaide. 1987 Art and Aboriginality, Aspex Gallery, Jimmy Pike, Magabala Books 1992. Portsmouth, UK 3. To Jupurr Short story by Pat Lowe, illustrated artisan would like to thank Stephen Seibu Shibuya, Tokyo. 1987 Addendum Gallery, Fremantle by Jimmy Pike, in New Writing Ed. Beth Yahp and Culley and David Wroth from Desert1988 Birukmarri Gallery, Sydney. 1988 Blaxland Galleries, Sydney Nicholas Jose. Picador 1997. Designs for the loan of the textiles and Capricorn Gallery, Port Douglas. 1988 Australian Aboriginal Graphics from the 4. Desert Dog Children’s book by Pat Lowe, prints, and Ngaio Fitzpatrick (fashion Tynte Gallery, Adelaide. Collection of the Flinders University Art illustrated by Jimmy Pike, Magabala Books 1997. designer Desert Designs 1986-1989) for Blaxland Gallery, Sydney and Museum Winner, Children’s Literature Prize, WA Premier’s lending the garments. We also gratefully Melbourne. 1989 Prints by Seven Australian Aboriginal Book Awards 1999. Notable Book, Children’s Book acknowledge the assistance of Pat Lowe.1991 Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London. Artists (international touring exhibition, Council.1995 Retrospective: Art Gallery of WA. through Print Council and The Department 5. Jimmy and Pat Meet the Queen By Pat Lowe, Desert Psychedelic was opened by the1996 Westpac Gallery, Melbourne. of Foreign Affairs and Trade) Illustrated by Jimmy Pike. Humorous book for all Patron of artisan - idea:skill:product, Friendship Gallery, Hefei, PRC. 1989 Aboriginal Art: The Continuing Tradition, Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensely, AO,1997 Durack Gallery, Broome. ages. Backroom Press, 1997. Has been adapted National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Governor of Queensland. Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane. for play with same title. 1990 l’ete Australien a’ Montpellier, Musee Framed Gallery, Darwin. 6. Desert Cowboy by Pat Lowe, Children’s book, Fabre Gallery Montpellier, France Australian Heritage Commission National Magabala Books, 2000. PRINCIPLE SPONSOR 1990 Balance 1990: views, visions, influences, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art 7. Illustrations for Jimmy and Pat Go to China, QAG, Brisbane Award Exhibition, Canberra. 1990 Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Backroom Press, 2006.1998 Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London. 8. Biographical: In the Desert — Jimmy Pike as a Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Harvard The Sixteenth Aboriginal Art Award Boy by Pat Lowe, Penguin Books Australia, 2007. University, University of Minnesota, Lake Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Oswego Centre for the Arts Northern Territory, Darwin. 1990 Tagari Lia: My Family, Contemporary Work reproduced in many publications, educational Australian Heritage Commission National Aboriginal Art 1990 – from Australia, texts, catalogues etc. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Third Eye Centre, Glasgow, UK Award Exhibition, Canberra. 1991 Flash Pictures, National Gallery of cOmmiSSiOnS2000 Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA Australia, Canberra The Seventeenth Aboriginal Art Award 1991 The Eighth National Aboriginal Art Award Australian Museum, Sydney; Art Gallery of Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the New South Wales, Sydney; Art Gallery of South Northern Territory, Darwin Northern Territory, Darwin Australia, Adelaide; Art Gallery of Western Australian Heritage Commission National 1992 Working in the Round, Flinders University Australia, Perth; Flinders University Art Museum, a 381 BRUNSWICK ST FORTITUDE VALLEY Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Art Museum, Adelaide Adelaide; Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Surfers QLD, AUSTRALIA 4006 Award Exhibition, Canberra. 1992 Crossroads – Towards a New Reality, Paradise, Queensland; Museum and Art Gallery of Pinacoteca d’Arte Moderna e p 0732150800 Aboriginal Art from Australia, National the Northern Territory, Darwin; National Gallery of Contemporanea Bivongi, Reggio Calabria, Museums of Modern Art, Kyoto and Tokyo Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, e GALLERY@ARTISAN.ORG.AU Italy and Museo Caproni, Mattarello de 1992 The Ninth Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Melbourne; National Maritime Museum, Darwin W WWW.ARTISAN.ORG.AU Trento, Italy. Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Harbour, Sydney; Parliament House Art Collection, tueS - Fri 10:30AM - 5:30PM2001 Short Street Gallery, Broome Western Territory, Darwin Canberra; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; The Sat 10:00AM - 4:00PM Australia. 1992/3 New Tracks Old Land: An Exhibition of Holmes a Court Collection, Perth Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London. Contemporary Prints from Aboriginal Jimmy Pike : Desert Psychedellic Australia, touring the USA and Australia PUBLISHER: artisan 1993 The Tenth Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, ISBN: 978-0-9805744-1-8grOup exhibitiOnS Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin COVER IMAGE: Jila 1983, texta pen on1984 Her Majesty’s Theatre, Perth 1993 Australian Heritage Commission National paper. Image courtesy of Desert Designs1985 Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Praxis, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Fremantle Award Exhibition, Old Parliament House,1987 Print Council Gallery, Melbourne Canberra1987 Recent Aboriginal Art of Western 1993 Images of Power, Aboriginal Art of the Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Kimberly, National Gallery of Victoria, Canberra Melbourne artisan receives financial assistance from its majoy sponsors, Arts Queensland (State Government) and the Australia Council, the Commonwealth Government’s arts funding and advisory board.
  • 2. Jimmy pike started working with western art Many fashion houses and textile designers not in the textile or fashion industry, and silk or drifting weightlessly on chiffons, the 2002 leaving a legacy of unique paintings and materials and techniques while imprisoned had tried to create this in the preceding Pike was not producing textile designs. The textiles vibrated with energy. prints that made an invaluable contribution in the 1980s, and within a comparatively decades. During the 1940s and 1950s, fact that his work was to be printed on fabric to Australian landscape art, an extraordinary short time was producing powerful drawings, Nance MacKenzie, Annie Outlaw, and Frances and applied to accessories and garments, Pike’s art made the Desert Designs textiles collection of textiles, astonishing in their paintings and prints which are now housed in Bourke, amongst other designers, were had no impact on the subject matter, intent timeless but the fashion garments were number and diversity, and many book major national and international collections. appropriating indigenous imagery to this end, or execution. Rather than beginning by characteristic of their time in structure and illustrations. Born out of his intimate knowledge of some but it was devoid of its cultural and spiritual designing a repeat pattern for printing, Pike’s cut, and subject to industry shifts. Following of the hardest country in the world, they significance. It became surface pattern. Their existing paintings, drawings or prints were major global financial changes, issues with The Desert Designs fashion label was Jimmy Pike offered a revelatory insight into the desert. designs were also dictated by seasonal colour painstakingly adapted into repeats, enabling the company producing the fashion label, relaunched in Australia in 2003, again using Pike’s art was so extraordinary that it inspired or fashion trends, and instantly identifiable them to be printed on textile lengths. This and the fact that, under the rising influence Pike’s textiles, but this time printed in subtle, his teachers at the time, Stephen Culley and with a certain era. Later, in the 1980s, well- created a highly distinctive range of dynamic of Japanese fashion designers, ‘all through tonal colour-ways on luxury fabrics including David Wroth, to launch Desert Designs, a known Australian fashion designers, including and often intricately patterned fabrics. the nineties everyone wore black’2. , Desert stretch silk-satins. Pike’s prints, such as gallery artisan 8 April - 30 May 2009 company that would gain Pike worldwide Katie Pye, Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson Designs stores eventually closed. The ski- Partiri, were pared back to their elemental recognition through the application of his art worked collaboratively with Indigenous Pike was a versatile artist who worked wear, swim-wear and other products did keep structure and re-interpreted as acid-etchedJimmy Pike, a Walmajarri man, was born to textiles. designs and artists, to generate identifiably comfortably with an astonishing breadth of selling internationally. lace. Ethereal and sophisticated, these newin the Great Sandy Desert and grew up ‘Australian’ textiles and garments, but the style, imagery and scale. He was equally at garments revealed the flexibility of theseas a hunter and gatherer. With his family Pike’s talent was exceptional. As Culley Desert Designs textiles stood apart. home depicting delicate desert flowers or textile designs.he travelled his sandhill country on foot, recalls, after an early print-making class with massive expanses of sand. These works hadlearning the name of every waterhole Wroth, Pike took some lino blocks back to The distinction in Pike’s work was not only nothing to do with the dictates of seasonal Desert Psychedelic offers an opportunity toand of every animal and plant, learning his cell and, using his pre-existing carving in terms of international commercial success, fashion. His art was the outcome of a deep celebrate Jimmy Pike’s achievements andto provide for all his needs. skills, returned with a set of lino-cuts that but in the unique nature of the collaboration physical and spiritual connection with his acknowledge his position as not only one of ‘Matisse would have been proud of’1.. Pike with Desert Designs. Culley and Wroth were land. It emerged from a strong urge to the great Indigenous artists, but also one ofBut this ancient way of life was coming proved to be a master of line, and black and record places or events, either from his past the greatest Australian textile designers ofto an end. Jimmy, like other members of white design, but also a brilliant colourist. or from the mythological past, that had a the 20th century.his family, joined the drift north to the Preferring to work with felt-tip markers, as specific meaning for him. For Pike, the desertsheep and cattle stations of the river they had a frequency and luminosity not was no empty wasteland, but a visually andvalleys, where life was said to be much found in paint, he captured the essence of culturally rich environment. The minimal line-easier than in the sandhills and food the desert in highly abstracted landscapes work of Rakarrarla-Kumanta, depicts an early Kirsten Fitzpatrick, curator (artisan) that shimmered with an often fluorescent morning sunrise over the desert: the momentmore plentiful. He joined his relations intensity. Pike was a forerunner in the use of the rays colour the sandhills. Jila Japingka,on Old Cherrabun Station, where he what, at the time, was considered to be ‘non- which became one of the signature Desertworked as a stockman. traditional’ colours. Designs prints, depicts Japingka, the main 1. Kirsten Fitzpatrick interview with Stephen Culley waterhole for his country and people. Pike’s artistic career continued. He and his 24/02/09Jimmy was influenced by Christianity but, Culley and Wroth were committed to long-term partner, Pat Lowe, a psychologist 2. s abovealong with many of his peers, he also maintaining the cultural integrity of Pike’s Linear designs, such as Rakarrarla-Kumanta, he had met while in prison, spent severallearnt to drink. He got into trouble with work and to creating an economically were initially screen-printed on cotton in years together in the desert. Pat collected the bibliographythe law and served a number of years meaningful environment for his creative Australia, using one or two colors, but the stories of Jimmy’s country and subsequently - Cochrane, G. The Crafts Movement in Australia: ain prison. output. By the time Pike was released multi-colored prints such as Jila Japingka, published books, which Pike illustrated. These history NSW University Press, NSW 1992 - Lowe, P. In The Desert: Jimmy Pike as a Boy Penguin from prison in 1986, Desert Designs was which demanded many separations, were included children’s stories, travel tales and, in Books, VIC 2007It was in the prison art class that Jimmy flourishing. Pike’s distinctive prints appeared printed in Japan. These bright, brilliantly- Jimmy & Pat Meet the Queen, a lighthearted - O’Ferrall, M. and Pike, J. Jimmy Pike: Desertlearnt to paint. He developed his own on rugs, bed linen, accessories and garments hued textiles, characterized the exuberant look at the issue of Aboriginal land ownership. Designs 1981-1995 Art Gallery of Western Australia,distinctive style and soon became ranging from fashion to active-wear. Flagship Desert Designs garments from the late There had always been a narrative basis Perth,1995well-known, through exhibitions of his stores opened in Sydney, Surfers Paradise eighties and early nineties. Pike’s designs to Pike’s art, as it was a way of telling his - Amadio, N. ‘The Song of Jimmy Pike’ Jimmy Pike:work and through Desert Designs, the and Fremantle, and later in France, and the were subsequently printed on a wide range stories and connecting with country, and Graphics from the Christensen Fund Collection most exclusive department stores in the of materials. His imagery already pulsated book illustration was a natural extension of Exhibition Catalogue 1988fashion label that used his designs onfabric and other goods. When he had Jimmy Pike travelled to other countries world carried the label. Desert Designs was with movement through his use of oscillating, his talents. IMAGES: (far left) Rakarrarla-Kumanta textile c 1988,completed his parole, Jimmy moved to to paint and hold exhibitions of his work: an international phenomenon, and it was ragged white lines on a black ground, or the (left) Jilji and Jumu, print 1989 (right, top-bottom) Pike’s textiles that made it so. juxtaposition of colours that sang against Pike also continued to paint and exhibit hisBroome with his long-term partner, Pat the Philippines, China, Namibia, Italy Desert Designs fashion c 1988, Desert Designs fashion each other, but each fabric added another work internationally, including solo shows in c 1988, Desert Designs fashion 2003,Lowe, but returned to the desert from and the United Kingdom. Wherever he These textiles had a universal resonance dimension to this. Whether emblematic London and a joint exhibition with the artist (background) Jila Japingka, textile 1986. All imagestime to time. Jimmy and Pat collaborated went, he made an impression through but a uniquely Australian quality as well. against ski-fabrics, glowing jewel-like on Zhou Xiaoping, in China. Jimmy Pike died in courtesy of Desert Designs.on a series of books based on Jimmy’s his art and personality. Jimmy died inchildhood. 2002. Pat Lowe, 2009