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Region:  Katherine

Language:  Gurinji

Circa:  24 April 1970

Medium:  Acrylic on Canvas


Title:  Freshwater Country - Katherine Gorge


As a child, Rodney lived with his Mother and attended school in Katherine.  He would spend his school holidays with his Father in Ngukurr, East of Katherine and it was during these holiday visits that Rodney first began to paint.  He learnt from Artist Kenny Wark who also taught him how to make Didgeridoos.

Rodney spent his senior years of schooling in Adelaide and spent two and a half years working as an apprentice Carpenter.  He returned to the NT to spend some time in Bulman, Arnhem Land.  He worked on building contracts and general maintenance as well as working as a shop assistant in the general store.  Rodney felt he could use his skills to help develop the community and this was a worthwhile time for him.  In fact, the time he spent there has influenced his style of painting today, as he paints the wildlife of the area and the experiences which come with the bush lifestyle.

Rodney began painting serious after he was encouraged by Bill Harney, an established Katherine artist, who taught him to paint in the old way.  He spent more time learning from older artists, drawing from his determination to understand and follow the ways of Aboriginal tradition.