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Dibirdibi Country Revisited – Celebrating Mrs. Gabori’s Life

BY ReDot Fine Art Gallery | 23-May-2016
Dibirdibi Country Revisited celebrates the life of courageous Mornington Island Arts artist, Mrs. Gabori (c. 1924-2015), who revitalised her people through the act of painting. Her expansive canvases, bold colours and contemporary expression retell the stories of her family’s country. This show is an opportunity to see a living and breathing memory of a disappearing culture and a nationally esteemed Australian Indigenous Artist whose life continues in the masterpieces she has left behind. Works by Mrs. Gabori’s niece, Paula Paul, and other family members will also be exhibited as part of the show at ReDot Fine Art Gallery.
Venue: ReDot Fine Art Gallery
Address: Old Hill Street Police Station
Date: 1 June - 2 July 2016
Time: 12:00-7:00pm
Ticket: FREE
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Dibirdibi Country by Mrs. Gabori, 152 x 101cm
It is the honour and pleasure of ReDot Fine Art Gallery to announce an exhibition of stunning canvases by Mornington Island Arts artist, Mrs. Gabori (c. 1924-2015). This show celebrates the life of a courageous senior woman who revitalised her people by the seemingly insignificant decision to lift a paint brush to a canvas. While this show, entitled Dibirdibi Country Revisited – Celebrating Mrs. Gabori’s Life, runs in Singapore, a retrospective of Mrs. Gabori’s work exhibits at the Queensland Art Gallery (QAGOMA) in Australia. It is a rare occasion for collectors and art enthusiasts to have access to a museum-grade show celebrating the development of an artist’s career with the coinciding opportunity to purchase that same artist’s work from a group of paintings and prints rarely viewed by public eye.

Mrs. Gabori became a national phenomenon and her works quickly became treasured and highly sought-after gems as she swept across Australia. Her works have been acquired by all major institutional collections across Australia and globally, her designs were showcased at the Venice Biennale and she has been commissioned on many occasions for public and private installations, the latest of which saw her stunning Tjukurpa come to life in the halls of the Brisbane International airport.

From extremely humble beginnings and until the late 1940s, Mrs. Gabori lived on Bentinck Island with her people, the Kaiadilt, who had remained virtually untouched by any other culture or people group. A drought, a cyclone and contaminated water eventually forced Mrs. Gabori and her people to relocate to the nearby Mornington Island, an upheaval so traumatising that their language has become almost extinct. Nearly fifty despondent and disorienting years later, Mrs. Gabori entered the Mornington Island Arts Centre and began to paint, finding her new voice, a stronger voice than she’d ever known, in the movement of her brush and the broad shapes of colours on her canvases.

The contemporary landscapes of her country, her husband’s country, and her parents’ country are the focus of this exhibition because they best summarise who she was, why she was, and what she has become. The works chosen are in typical Mrs. Gabori style – expansive canvases, bold colours and contemporary expression, retelling stories of her and her family’s country. Although she painted for only eight years, those were the last eight years of her life, as if everything that had happened beforehand had prepared her for this great opportunity to record what no one else knew how to express.

This show is an opportunity to see a living and breathing memory of a disappearing culture and a nationally esteemed Australian Indigenous artist who now lives on in the masterpieces she has left behind for future generations across the world. The exhibition at ReDot Fine Art Gallery will also include works by Mrs. Gabori’s niece, Paula Paul, and other family members, and runs from Wednesday 1st June until Saturday 2nd July 2016, with an opening reception on Wednesday, 8th June 2016 at 6:30pm.