‘Goompi Dreaming’, is a solo exhibition by Aboriginal artist Goompi Ugerabah on display from 10 August to 2 September 2019.
Goompi Dreaming by Goompi Ugerabah, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 193 x 150 cm
The exhibition is Goompi’s third solo exhibition with Gallery One, a contemporary art gallery on the Gold Coast.
‘Goompi Dreaming’ is new work that takes a slightly different stylistic direction and a more personalised tone from Goompi’s previous representations on canvas.
Inspired by the artists’ connection to Kombemerri country – land which extends from North Stradbroke Island to Northern New South Wales incorporating the Gold Coast where Goompi was born and raised. Goompi is a proud tribal man dedicated to presenting his culture in various artistic forms such as dance, song, language and visual expression.
Laying his culture out on canvas is as much a spiritual practice as it is a creative expression of storytelling. Goompi states:
“My collection is inspired by my life as Goompi, a name that means possum. I live on Kombemerri land and I have had a strong connection with culture since I was young.
This is also the home where my family has grown up—an important part of my dreaming on this land.
Culture was passed down and taught to us by elders and it is this personal connection and reverence to land and family that I want to bring to each painting in this exhibition.”
Kombemerri Country by Goompi Ugerabah, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 140 x 190 cm
Goompi’s personal connection to land is depicted in his paintings titled Goompi Dreaming (also exhibition title) and Kombemerri Country. Using a minimal and neutral acrylic colour scheme, Goompi conveys his dreaming in an arrangement of intricate, dotted shapes and line work.
Both paintings incorporate the larger white dots that have become synonymous with Goompi’s technique and unique eye-catching design patterns. The patterns move and interconnect on the canvas creating energetic and harmonious resolution.
Kombemerri Country depicts the key geographical features of the land—three of the river systems and two mountain headlands where the rivers meet the sea. It also depicts the mountains in the Hinterland where the saltwater rivers meet the freshwater rock pools and rainforest region.
Goompi Dreaming is a more abstracted expression depicting his ancestors and family, his dreaming and the temporal qualities of time for a culture that has existed for over 70,000 years.
Continuing with this gesture of ‘passing on’ stories of his people, Goompi completes the paintings with an explanation of the visual image on the back of the canvas. For Goompi, these paintings are his way to keep his culture alive and generate engagement and understanding of his ancestors’ land for new generations of people around the world.
Goompi’s artwork is held in collections around the world including the CIA in Langley, Virginia, US and in the private collection of Princess Benedikte of Denmark. He is also collected by notable Queensland businesses ~ Iconic at Kirra Beach, Zarraffa’s Coffee head office and John Deere Australia, Crestmead.