Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards

23 August 2013 - 27 January 2014

Churchill Cann of Warmun, Western Australia, is the recipient of the Western Australian Artist Award of $10,000.

Born 1945 Kirriwirri, Western Australia
Works Warmun, Western Australia

Language: Gija

This prize is awarded for the exceptional achievements of a Western Australian Indigenous artist. Cann grew up on Texas Downs station where he worked as a stockman for most of his life. He has travelled extensively through the Kimberley working on many different cattle stations. Cann is a traditional medicine man for the Gija people; and worked alongside Rover Thomas and Queenie McKenzie in the early stages of the Warmun art movement.

Cann has a distinctive visual language within the Warmun vernacular. In his purposeful documentations of country, he seems to strip back the surface of the land to reveal its (almost corporeal) structure. Composed by balancing translucent and opaque areas of ochre, his paintings are organic and dynamic. The small dotting and the thicker edges where the ochre and earth pigments meet lend the works a line-drawing or sketch-like quality. In Buffalo Hole, Cann demonstrates his extraordinarily skilful use of colour as well as his command of charcoal, which appears to have been blown by wind across the canvas like air across water. As it does in all of Cann’s works, his material finesse conjures images of a sentient land, one that is primeval yet still in the process of creation. Ultimately, it is his ability to inspire wonder at what lies beyond the human experience that makes him a worthy winner.

Churchill Cann

Buffalo Hole 2012

natural ochres and pigment on canvas

90.0 x 120.0 cm

Artwork courtesy of the artist and Warmun Art Centre

the artist, courtesy of Warmun Art Centre

Churchill Cann

Doogoorenyinem 2012

natural ochres and pigment on canvas

90.0 x 120.0 cm

Artwork courtesy of Sue Rowley and Jim Falk

the artist, courtesy of Warmun Art Centre

Churchill Cann

Lolly Creek 2012

natural ochres and pigment on canvas

90.0 x 120.0 cm

Artwork courtesy of the artist, Warmun Art Centre and William Mora Galleries

the artist, courtesy of Warmun Art Centre

Churchill Cann

Snake Creek Hole 2012

natural ochres and pigment on canvas 120.0 x 180.0 cm

Artwork courtesy of Precedence Health Care

the artist, courtesy of Warmun Art Centre

Churchill Cann

Victory Hole 2012

natural ochres and pigment on canvas

150.0 x 150.0 cm

Artwork courtesy of the artist, Warmun Art Centre and William Mora Galleries

the artist, courtesy of Warmun Art Centre


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