Yondee (Shane Hansen) is a Noongar man from Western Australia, based in Perth. He was born in 1964 in Dumbleyung, 270 km south of Perth. The name Dumbleyung is derived from the Aboriginal word 'Dambeling' meaning large lake and refers to the lake nearby which is the largest in south-west WA. Yondee remembers this lake as a child and being told stories of the Wagal (rainbow snake).
He was told about hunting and shown sand drawings by his father. Around the age of ten, he would travel and visit his aunties on the Swan River and would collect paperbark to help them in their artwork. It was here that he started to learn about art from his older relatives who are known for their painting on paperbark.
He is an experienced and accomplished artist who is developing a way of working with sand and ochres to depict the stories and legends of his people. He also paints detailed figurative works based on mission life, hunting and animals. His works are abstract in their presentation but the narrative in their content. He wishes to continue the stories of his grandfather. He learnt these stories and images as ground paintings, so he feels the translation of them to sand paintings does them justice and brings them to new audiences.
Talking about his art practice today, Yondee Shane Hansen says: “I make sand paintings, collecting sand from the creeks. You have to wash it to get the salt out, but the sand is different out of the creeks, it's smoother, it’s good to use. When I make sand paintings using black and white, or bold colours, it gives a simple strong message.”
About the artwork:
In this painting, Shane paints the Swan River during the six different Noongar seasons. Flowers and plants of all kinds are blooming around the river. This is a time where the Noongars are hunting and gathering, collecting food and plants for the coming months. This piece signifies the ending of the wet season; the rain has gone and the sun has come out, giving everything new life and colour.