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Ham Darrock
1972 Sydney, Australia
Canberra-based contemporary artist Ham Darroch works in sculpture, performance and drawing. His artistic practice draws on recognisable objects of both everyday life and of art history to create abstract works that, through careful referencing of shared histories and experiences, appear effortlessly comforting and familiar. He studied at the Australian National University and University of New South Wales, and has subsequently worked as a studio assistant to the renowned British artist Bridget Riley. His works are held in numerous places including the Bundanon Trust collection, Brazilian Embassy, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Canberra Museum and Gallery, and private collections in Australia and the United Kingdom. Widespread admiration for his art continues to grow. In 2017, Ham won the Rosalie Gascoigne Memorial Award for contemporary art.

This painting depicts designs associated with the site Walungurru (Kintore), set deep in the Western Desert. During ancestral times, Ngintaka (Perentie) travelled to this site from the west where he died and turned to stone, becoming the prominent mountain that marks the community.

The site is also associated with the secret-sacred Tingari Song Cycle, the contents of which are only known to initiated Pintupi. Although the specific stories are closely guarded, the Tingari in general are a group of ancestral Dreaming beings who travelled the country, performing rituals and creating and transforming significant sites. Their adventures are enshrined in numerous song cycles, and their stories form part of initiatory teachings.

Aubrey’s strong use of line and repetition rendered in a restrained monochrome palette creates a mesmerising optical effect, allowing the viewer to follow the tracks of the Ngintaka to his final resting place.

Scarf Ham Darroch | Silk Scarves Australia
Orbit 5
Gouache on paper, 2016