1963, FITZROY CROSSING, WA
Annette Lormada was born in Fitzroy Crossing in 1961. Given the bush name Bingarli, Annette grew up listening to the Two Dogs Dreaming Story from her parents, which she continues to paint today. She spent her childhood in Fitzroy Crossing, where she attended school, before moving to Junjuwa, and later Nookanbah to work in the community stores.
Annette came to painting relatively recently and began to paint at Mangkaja studio after watching the senior artists. Her vibrant, playful style and strong use of colour and composition quickly gained her recognition, and in 2020 she was a selected finalist in both the Telstra NATSIAA Award and the Port Headland Jury Prize.
Known for her contemporary whimsical style, Annette paints the creation stories she learnt as a child, vividly bringing to life memories of her childhood spent fishing along the Fitzroy River.
This painting depicts Martuwarra – the expanse of the Fitzroy River that flows down through Noonkanbah where Annette Lormada grew up. The painting tells the story of the barramundi, a species native to the area, who painted themselves up and danced for ceremony. The small concentric circles represent the fishes’ air bubbles, that break on the river’s surface as they dance. Kalpurtu (creator serpent-type being) said to have created the barramundi, lives in the surrounding rockholes.
Lormada and the people of Martuwarra mimic the ceremony of the barramundi, dancing as the fish do, in an increase rite to ensure the abundance of the fish at the site.
‘We copy it and sing for that story too…Barramundi lives in any water, but in the river it’s good to eat, I love eating barramundi’.