Bundjalung artist Michael Philp’s latest exhibition is astonishing. His work takes on a minimalist modernist approach to his Murri heritage. Vivid blues and greens, tiny white boats, specks for stars, this is the work of a ‘Saltwater Murri’, hence the title of the show: My Saltwater Murris.
The show speaks of Michael’s life as a child born to a white fisherman and a Murri woman on the Tweed coast. Since starting painting only seven years ago Michael was the first Bundjalung artist to be represented by national Indigenous-owned gallery DACOU, where he staged his first solo show. The body of work is an intimate recollection of personal memories as a child growing up on the Tweed River.
His practice is the creation of ‘modern stories’, he says. Painting is a way for him to access his past and connect it to the present. He finds this process of reaching out to his past enriches his life today.
These are stories of happiness, love, growth, fishing and death, all contained within the Midginbil landscape. Opens at DACOU in Alstonville on Saturday.