Jumbindi & Wendy Feifar Nannup
About the artists:
Sitting among an array of brightly painted canvases and boab nuts, it is fitting that Goonian man, artist Reynold Indich (or Jumbindi as he is also known) blends into his stall at the Broome Courthouse Market. His original painted artworks and souvenirs are a blend of traditional Kimberley culture, Jumbindiʼs contemporary style, Broomeʼs colourful ambience and Jumbindi himself. “I paint what I see. I paint from the leeyan – the heart of the countrymen. There’s an old Kimberley expression: ‘Coming to Broome to live is like a dream come true.’ When you come up here you capture the essence of Broome, and being an artist it flows through you and I wanted to capture the Kimberley in my paintings.”
Jumbindi was born in Perth and moved to Broome with his wife and daughter and took up a job in man’s outreach. When the job was no longer available, he took up painting as a therapeutic pursuit. It’s now become a career. “I totally focussed all my energy on painting. It’s what kept me going, especially from a therapeutic perspective,” he said. “I really do enjoy it. I particularly love talking to people from overseas, especially from Lebanon and Egypt because they have old traditions and remedies that go back centuries and we bounce off each other’s knowledge. I paint more for the love of doing it than the money, but I’m thankful that it pays the bills.” Knowing stories of the travels of his artworks, such as a painting of dancing brolgas now hanging in a castle in England, also inspires Jumbindi. “Money can't buy things like that,” he said.
Among Jumbindiʼs best-sellers are painted boab nuts and paintings of the iconic bottle-shaped boab trees, or gorgeous landscapes on canvas. He works closely with his Aunty, well known artist Wendy Feifar-Nannup, collaborating with her to recreate the sunburnt and lush areas of land in WA.
West Australian born Wendy Feifar-Nannup has become one of Australia’s more well-known Indigenous artists, selling over one thousand paintings in her painting career thus far, including a piece to ex-Prime Minister of Australia: Malcom Fraser. Wendy is a self-taught artist. Dabbling in art as a teenager, she only seriously got into her practice when she accompanied her husband to jobs on farms and stations.
She was born on Mogumber Mission and grew up in Roelands at a time when the government’s policy was to separate “coloured” children from their parents and traditional life style. Wendy lost track of her Mother and only saw her Father on occasion, yet she remained in spiritual contact with her people. Her Father was a spiritual man to his people and one of the last members of the Mirnang Tribe who understood the tribal laws and language. Learning from her Father, Wendy became conscious of the need to preserve her heritage. “I haven’t achieved what I have to achieve”, says Wendy. “It’s not the money. I paint for the Aboriginal people, for myself, and for my Father. I carry on painting for him. I want to become one of the best, for my people’s sake.”
Wendy served as a member of the Aboriginal Arts Board of the Australian Council for over four years. She has worked hard to improve the conditions for Aboriginal Artists. Early in her career, the Commonwealth Film Unit filmed Wendy at work, showing in detail the delicate techniques Wendy has devised to achieve her intricate paintings.
At present, Wendy’s artworks often depict the Karri forests of her traditional home.