In this painting, Rover Thomas depicts the path of a desert whirlwind or Willy Willy. In Aboriginal myths, willy willies represent spirit forms. They are often quite scary spirits, and parents may warn their children that if they misbehave, a spirit will emerge from the spinning vortex of dirt and grab them.
Painted by the artist for the Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings, Melbourne, Australia;
Private collection, Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, The Netherlands;
Leslie Smith Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Work of Rover Thomas is included in the permant collection of the AAMU, Aboriginal Art Museum Utrecht, the Netherlands
Rover Thomas (c. 1926 – 1998), one of Australia’s best known Indigenous painters, was responsible for a major movement in Australian art. He was born to a Wangkajunga father and a Kukatja mother around 1926 at Kunawarritji on the canning stock route in north-western Australia. This route crosses both the great Sandy and Gibson deserts, areas that would play an important role in Thomas’s . . .