Lin Onus, a Yorta Yorta artist of Aboriginal and Scottish descent, represents a singular voice in Australia’s cultural life. Esteemed for his wit, talent and panache, Onus’s work is a negotiation of cultural identity, using both Aboriginal and Western techniques to unsettle categorisation.
After being racistly expelled from school at age fourteen, Onus worked as a mechanic and activist, before teaching himself to draw. He forged a style that combined photo-realism, surrealism and indigenous iconography. Not only was this reflective of his heritage, it also represented his attitude at large, which championed reconciliation over alienation.
Recognisably Onus, ‘Walawala Garrluman’ is a layered textual work. In it, frogs nestle on river stones, water pooling around their patterned bodies. The silhouettes of vein-like trees run across the surface. Three perspectives combine: the trees and rocks are viewed from above, bookends of space, while the frogs crouch at our eye-line. Onus presents multiple perspectives at once; two sides of the same stone.
Detailed, multi-coloured and impeccably composed, ‘Walawala Garrluman’ testifies to an artist whose artistic vision was only matched by his activism. Caught between different worlds, Onus wrote in 1990 that he hoped to be remembered as a “bridge between cultures, technology and ideas”. With representation in most major Australian collections and an OBE, it is undoubtable that he has.
For collectors of important Australian, Aboriginal and contemporary art, give your collection new life with ‘Walawala Garrluman’.
Lin ONUS (1946 - 1996)
Edition of 80
Image Size: 30 x 50 cm
Dimensions: 50 x 70 cm
Signed: Numbered, titled and signed Onus in margin
Comes with Letter of Provenance
Includes embossed stamps in margin including the chop mark for Lin Onus and the publisher Port Jackson Press.
Availability: in stock
© Lin Onus / Copyright Agency 2021