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Michael (Gararroongoo) Huddleston
Birth Place: Sydney Year of Birth: 1947
Michael’s paintings are based on their custodial country and the stories associated with it. They depict in the traditional Raark or crosshatch design, totems and spirits relating to real life activities such as hunting, fishing, singing and dancing. These images form the teachings of the ancestors on survival and social infrastructure. The regions wildlife is integral to Arnhem Land myths, lore and art. Crocodiles, dugongs, turtles, birds, lizards, fish, kangaroos, wallabies and snakes are often depicted alongside Mimi Spirits celebrating abundance and connection to the land. Michael was born in Sydney at Royal North Shore hospital in 1947. Both his parents and older brother were moved there from Groote Eylandt after the bombing of Darwin 1941. This was part of the government’s policy in forcing assimilation of Aboriginal people into mainstream society. Ironically this became the second time his mother Florence Croft was moved from the world she had become accustomed. She was taken as a baby from her birthplace in the Tanami desert of Central Australia and adopted into Ngardi way of life. For this reason Michael also has a connection to his Grandmother Lily Nangala’s dreamings. As a child Michael would watch his father who was an accomplished wood carver produce sculptures from his homeland. Inspired by this he developed an understanding, belief and passion for his culture. In 1970 while in his early 20s he left Sydney and moved to Darwin. It was important for him to visit and connect with the country from which his family had been dispossessed. It was there that he sought permission and guidance from Ngardi elders and began his career as a pointer. His family returned to Ngukurr one year later. In 1973 he returned to Sydney after the destruction of Darwin by Cyclone Tracy. Having worked within various Government departments in Aboriginal Affairs, his dsire to paint and return to the families traditional country became too strong to resist. Micheal’s career as an artist and cultural ambassador has taken him to all parts of Australia and overseas. In 2001 he travelled to Switzerland and exhibited alongside Michael Nelson Jagamarra. Michael Nelson is famous for a work that was reproduced as a tile mosaic at the entrance to Parliament House in Canberra, and painting a BMW car on display in a Munich museum. Following his successful showing, he returned to Switzerland in 2002 with well know Sunshine Coast artist and friend, Joanne Currie. Michael’s passion for his culture, talent as an artist and affable personality shows strongly in his work. His life has been one of learning and teaching. The artwork he shares with the world will continue to inspire and help us cross cultural bridges. Themes: Acrylic paint on canvas Education: Attended Penrith High School to Year 10. Solo Exhibitions: - Gosford art gallery 2007 - Red Dessert Gallery Germany 2000 - Australian Dream Space Lasuanne 2001 - Spirit Australia Gallery QLD 2004 2005 - Red Dessert Gallery Eumundi QLD 2006 - Flinders Gallery Townsville QLD 1996 - Hervey Bay Council Chambers QLD 1997 - Artist in Residence Katherine High School NT 1997-2001 - Red Desert Gallery Rotterdam , Netherlands 2000 - Australia’s Northern Territory and Outback Centre NSW 2001 - Australian Outback Gallery Brisbane QLD 2002 - Red Desert Gallery Vienna Austria 2003 - Spirit of Australia Gallery Gold Coast QLD 2004 Group Exhibitions: - Kingston Markets ACT on and off for last ten years - Olympic Games 2000 - Royal Canberra Show 1994 - 1999, 2000 - 2007 and 2008 - Canberra Casino 1999 - Fireworks Gallery Canberra 1995 - Multicultural Festival Canberra 2000 2004 - National Folk Festival 2000 - 2003
Background: Michael is an internationally renowned Aboriginal Artist from the Ngardi language group in the Roper River region of East Arnhem Land. The Roper River Mission was established in 1908 and became a focal food and shelter point for people within a radius of several hundred kilometres whose traditional way of life had been severely disrupted. In 1968 the mission reverted to Aboriginal control and its name changed to Ngukurr. His father the late Harry Huddleston was a traditional owner from Burrungu, also known as the Ruin City.
Acrylic paint on stretched canvas Acrylic paint on stretched canvas Acrylic paint on stretched canvas
Title: Goanna at Waterhole Medium: Acrylic on stretched canvas Dimensions: 118 cms h x 84 cms w Price: AUD$1625.00 Convert ID: MIHEX013 (MOJBURR)
Title: Rock Art Medium: Acrylic on stretched canvas Dimensions: 92 cms h x 92 cms w Price: AUD$1500.00 Convert ID: MIHEX002 (MOJBURR)
Title: Mud Flats (5) Medium: Acrylic on stretched canvas Dimensions: 31cms w 121cms h Price: AUD$625.00 Convert ID: MIHEX025