Bush Trip to Utopia, Kathleen Ngale

On Tuesday the 22.8.17 I did an art trip to Utopia and visited the majority of our artists in the district. It was a beautiful day and I chatted more than I usually do, plus went to to a couple of extra Outstations that I don’t usually visit. Lily and Michelle Lion had moved, and I was also given a message that Freddy Jones had a couple of boomerangs that he wanted me to buy.

Katie Kemarre
Katie Kemarre relaxing at Utopia

Spears and Boomerangs

So I did all of this, and then received a further message that Kylie Kemarre was at Soapy Bore Outstation and had a large completed canvas for me to collect. She had had this canvas for over 18 months!! And yes, it was unbelievable good! Her work is extremely slow but the finished product is oh so special! Next week we will email out images and close ups of this painting!

Sweet Lerp found on trees.Sarah Morton and Janice Clarke enjoying lerp, a sweet substance found on the leaves of the trees.

From Soapy Bore I dropped in to see Lena Pwerle and a few others to say hello.. And then ventured on to Camel Camp because I wanted to see how Kathleen Ngale and her husband Motorbike Paddy were doing. Kathleen didn’t look well, but she is a very old lady. Last time I saw her she was lying down sleeping, but on this occasion she was sitting up and drinking. I had a good chat with Motorbike Paddy (who has been doing a few very naïve paintings for us and wanted to do some more). Paddy, in his limited English, said that Kathleen was doing alright (the inference I took was – in her medical circumstances she was doing OK). She appeared quite frail and Paddy said that he had to lift her into the wheelchair because she couldn’t stand up on her own any more. And as we spoke Kathleen started saying “Tim you gotta give me canvas..” I couldn’t help but smile because she hadn’t in anyway whatsoever gave any indication that she recognised me until this point… I told Paddy that I’m happy to give her some small canvas and paints as it might give her something to do. He agreed, so I gave him a small roll of 30 x 30cm canvases plus some paints – with absolutely no expectations. I hope that it can in some small way help her to occupy herself in this tough time of her life.

Motorbike Paddy, an old man himself, was so gentle toward Kathleen that I sincerely found it very touching. Paddy gave me permission to take some photographs, and I think that this particular image conveys Paddy’s tenderness and dedication to his lifelong soul mate.

Utopia Artists

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