Author(s): Quentin Sprague
At a hinge-point in his life, artist and ex-gallerist Tony Oliver travelled to the East Kimberley, where he plunged into the crosscurrents and eddies of the Aboriginal art world. He would stay for almost a decade, working alongside a group of senior Gija artists, including acclaimed figures Paddy Bedford and Freddie Timms, to establish Jirrawun Arts, briefly one of the country's most successful and controversial Aboriginal painting collectives. The Stranger Artist follows Oliver's journey and the deep relationships he formed, an experience that forever altered his life's trajectory. His story will draw readers close to what he came to know of Kimberley life: the immersion of culture and spirituality in the everyday, the importance of Law, the deep and abiding connection to country, and the humour and tragedy that pervade the Aboriginal world. Evocative and absorbing in equal measure, The Stranger Artist tells not only of the connections that can be formed through the sharing of mutual interests and experiences, but of what it takes to live between cultures.