Ilma 2

In 1995, Brendon was invited to join two recording producers, a journalist, a photographer and two film crew, to help document the traditional stories (Ilma) of the Bardi people. For tens of thousands of years, the Bardi have inhabited the many islands crowning the tip of the Dampierland Peninsula on the Kimberley Coast north of Broome.

“When I was invited,” said Darby, “I felt it inappropriate that I should attempt to illustrate Aboriginal stories until it was explained to me that the Bardi do not paint. In fact one of the stories explains why. It is said that if a Bardi was to paint, then the small mischievous spirits called “Rai” erase any image created. “Because they don’t paint, most of the stories are preserved in songs. This is why the recording producers were there. It was my job to try to illustrate the songs.”

“I feel honoured to be offered this opportunity and insight into this remarkable culture. I will always treasure and remember with gratitude the warmth and generosity shown me by the Bardi.” (Brendon – November 2001)

On show at Michael Commerford Gallery, Sydney, NSW, from August 22nd to September 8th, 2002.

Some paintings from the Ilma series were previously shown at Stafford Studios of Fine Art, Cottesloe, WA in November 2001.

Facebook IconYouTube IconVisit our Instagram pageVisit our Instagram page