Kittey Malarvie

I was born at the gold mine – Brockman near Halls Creek. I grew up at the Ord River Station between Mistake Creek and Spring Creek. I travelled to Kununurra with my family in the early 1970s where I first learnt boab carving and artefact making with my mother and father. We used to sell to tourists to make money. My dad was teaching us and we were selling in the street in Kununurra and then through the first Waringarri. We would go out on weekends looking for boab nuts to carve and sell. It was a hard time but a good time. These days I prefer to paint and make prints. Recently focusing on painting practice, Kittey reveals layers of meaning and story in rich ochre paintings that connect to her traditional desert country south west of Kununurra. Layers of circle motifs interpret the transition of the seasons and a land that is flooded and dry by turns leaving behind the patterned ground of “luga” cracked mud.

Malarvie’s Milkwater series depicts a meditation on the multifaceted play of wind and light across a remarkable place of black soil and water the colour of milk. Painting primarily in ochres of pinks, black, greys and milky whites, the artist translates the language of her country into the gestures and utterances of international abstraction.