Kalumburu artist Regina Karadada carries on the strong tradition of her family in painting the Wandjina spirit in his role as Rainmaker and Creation Ancestor. The northern-most Kimberley community of Kalumburu is set deep in the Wandjina spirit country, which covers all the coastal Kimberley regions around and south of the community.Kalumburu has been a strong centre for traditional artefacts including didgeridoos, clapping sticks, shields, bark buckets, stone axes and spear-throwers, often decorated in ochre motifs that can be seen in the rock art sites. Artists in the community began painting with ochre on more contemporary materials in the 1970s, applying the skills of traditional culture to canvas and board.Regina Karadada began painting late in the 1990s. “Just started painting by myself – Gwions Gwions and Wandjinas, black figures on a white background, later bringing in red and yellow. Started with acrylic on canvas or bark. I used to go with Mum Lily (auntie Lily Karadada) to get bark.”
About the artworkRegina Karadada continues to paint the Gwion Gwion and Wandjina spirit figures and says of the Wandjina, “ we know him as the rainmaker. Gwion Gwion – well they were the first people here – spirit people we call them. You can see them on the rocks. There’s lots, all different ones.” Regina Karadada paints her Wandjina images in a bold and solid form, often giving them the feeling of a monumental totem.