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Yondee Shane Hansen

"Gnamma Holes" by Shane Yondee Hansen


  • Commissions available
  • Size: 70cm by 50cm 
  • Acrylic paint on canvas

About Shane 

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 southwest WA. Yondee remembers this lake as a child and is 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 paper bark to help them with their artwork. It was here that he started to learn about art from his older relatives who are known for their painting on paper bark.

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 narrative in their content. He wishes to continue the stories of his grandfather. He learned 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.

About the artwork

In this painting, Shane paints the traditional Waterhole Dreaming. The waterholes, also recognized as “Gnamma Holes”, are filled with an abundance of water, allowing nearby animals to drink in the dry season. These are naturally forming rock holes that can be found in solid rock, like granite.

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, and it’s good to use. When I make sand paintings or bark paintings using black and white, or bold colors, it gives that simple strong message.”