My Website – www.bieundurry.com.au
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Clifton Jungurrayi Bieundurry is a Walmajarri artist from the central Kimberley. Clifton uses his distinctive mix of acrylic paint and ochre on handmade paper, linen and canvas to achieve his striking contemporary representations of his ancestral country, as well as telling stories of social justice issues confronting his people.
“...I feel there is a gap in interpreting Aboriginal culture, the contemporary and the ancient, to the outside world. I paint to fill that gap so that translation is clear and understood; not only by non-Indigenous people but also by Indigenous people themselves.
So much melding of cultures and introduction of non-traditional influences has left contemporary Indigenous people with a surface understanding of the ‘true’ Aboriginal culture, I paint to share my knowledge of my Culture’s strength, respect, purity and honour so that it can be admired and inspire Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people alike.”
Clifton Jungurrayi Bieundurry belongs to the Walmajarri people of the Central Kimberley. He was born in Gnowangerup in 1973 to his Walmajarri father and Bunuba mother. Clifton’s father was born near Lake Gregory in the Great Sandy Desert and Clifton spent many of his formative years in this area, learning the stories and traditions of his ancestors and the land. His childhood was one of living in makeshift stock camps, where he learned through observation, and with respect, the skills and knowledge demonstrated by his father and extended family. Clifton’s parents were instrumental in the Nookanbah Mining protest in the 1970’s, assisting in establishing the Kimberley Land Council and remaining strong representatives for the rights of Kimberley Aboriginal people. This sense of purpose and determination is a major influence in Clifton’s artistic endeavors. Clifton’s large extended family has many artistically talented people including his sister, Winsome, and brother, Nelson, who are both accomplished visual artists.
Clifton speaks several traditional and contemporary Indigenous languages, including Walmajarri, Kukatja, Jaru and Kriol and is regularly contracted by the Kimberley Interpreting Service. His role is to support Kimberley Aboriginal people in private industry, and the Justice and Health systems. It is this mix of traditional cultural beliefs and his contemporary understanding of Aboriginal social and justice issues that is reflected in Clifton’s works of ochre and acrylic on linen, canvas and handmade paper. Clifton has also painted his distinctive symbols onto surfaces as diverse as ceramic and metal objects for commissioned works.
Clifton’s experience as an interpreter of languages enables him to communicate his art and their stories to a broad spectrum of the community. Clifton is also a recorded vocalist with band ‘GroovyLips and the Yang’ and sings original songs in three languages.
Clifton was awarded winner of the 2005 Shinju Art Awards Aboriginal Art Category. The winning piece was purchased by Belinda Carrigan of Gecko Gallery on behalf of the WA State Government for the private collection of the retiring Governor General Lt. J Sanderson. Clifton also subsequently won the 2006 Shinju Art Award and has held several solo exhibitions, both locally and overseas. In 2007 Clifton was awarded the Alinta Gas Acquisitive Shinju Art Prize.
Clifton has been featured in the BBC World TV series “Peschardt’s People” and was interviewed by the US-based “National Geographic” TV program for a feature documentary on endangered languages. Clifton also appeared on the SBS TV series “The Circuit”. In 2011 Clifton Bieundurry performed for 13 weeks on Broadway with Hugh Jackman in his “Hugh Jackman back on Broadway” show.