Kathy and Tracey Ramsay live and paint in Juwurlinji Aboriginal Community, also known as Bow River, which is an outstation situated around 30km north of Warmun, between Broome and Kununurra, with an entry point along the Great Northern Highway. Daughters of Rammey Ramsay, legendary Warmun artist and senior Gija man born in the East Kimberley, both Kathy and Tracy have inherited the ‘same sureness of mark marking passed down to them by their father’, explains gallerist Nichola Dare of Aboriginal Contemporary, ‘but they paint a different country, they paint their country at Bow River’.
Kathy, the older of the two sisters, began painting in 2013 to fulfill the urge to preserve her family history, stories, and traditional knowledge. ‘I just paint what my old people told me about our Country – because they are the ones who know the history of our Country, the Country we’re still connected to today’, explains Kathy. ‘Our Country really knows us, and it owns us’. Tracey didn’t start painting with the Warmun Art Centre until 2018 at the age of 47. After her first work sold instantly, she gained the self-confidence to paint more of Bow River.
Bow River Country is a spectacular exhibition in a palette of dusty pink, cobalt blue and earthy hues from the two sisters, portraying graphic depictions of sites and stories of the area – ‘each tells her story with different embellishments and detail to the other’, says Nichola. This is Kathy and Tracey’s first exhibition together and offers a beautiful, visceral insight into the magnificent land they are so deeply connected with.
You can view the catalogue for Bow River Country here!