Sarrita King was born in Adelaide, South Australia on the 5th March 1988. She is the younger sister to fellow artist, Tarisse King and daughter to the late highly regarded artist, William King Jungala (1966 – 2007).
Sarrita inherits her Australian Aboriginality from her father who was part of the Gurindji tribe from the Northern Territory. The Gurindji tribe came to public attention during the 1960s and 1970s when members employed by the Wave Hill cattle station led a landmark case which became the first successful land rights claim in Australia. It is this same strong sense of self and pride that Sarrita embodies and it fuels her drive to paint her totemic landscape.
Sarrita spent most of her youth growing up in Darwin in the Northern Territory. Not far from where her ancestors inhabited, it is here that her connection to her Aboriginality and subsequently the land was able to grow. Her exposure to the imperious weather and extreme landscape has provided the theme for her works of art, since she began painting at age 16.
About the artwork
This painting is her famous "Ancestors" Dreaming. This artwork is layered with dots. Markings made on the land over thousands of years can be seen entangled with patterns covering the land today, such as sand hills, flora and paths made by humans and animals. Beneath the land are the waterways that have been virtually constant over time. The river system shown meandering across the canvas, cutting through the land, are representative of the waterways found in through the lands of Sarrita’s ancestors from Katherine through the desert across to Mt. Isa.
Sarrita explores the routes, landmarks and elements which the indigenous ancestors of Australia used to survive for over 40,000 years. Australian Indigenous people were nomadic and travelled vast distances for many reasons including surviving the elements, finding food and water and for sacred ceremonies.