Goldfields-Esperance - Katie Ward

Goldfields-Esperance District

Artist: Katie Ward

Artist Country: Patjarr

Language: Ngaanyatjarra

Goldfields-Esperance artwork by Katie Ward
Artwork by Katie Ward.

Artwork story

This painting depicts the landscape and lakes of Wirrwul (Lake Blair), about 100 kilometres out of Patjarr. This country is full of rockholes, claypans, rabbits and birdlife. It's a special place for Katie and her family and they often visit to maintain and care for the land.

Artist biography

Katie is the daughter of Barney Ward from Patjarr and his second wife Kay from Tjukurla. Her sisters are Nyalpingka Simms, Daisy Ward, Marcia Ward and Esmay Ward. She lived most of her life in Wanarn before moving to Patjarr with her husband, Brumby Campbell, and four children. Katie began painting in 2009.

Katie is the sister of the late Mr Ward. Ward was filmed as a child leading a traditional life with his family in the 1960s by film maker Ian Dunlop. He was a central community figure at Warburton and in the surrounding lands with a knowledge of culture, land and art, and was known as a "culture man".

He was involved in forging relationships between his own community and non-Aboriginal communities in Western Australia, elsewhere in Australia and overseas. He was chosen to represent the Ngaanyatjarra lands in a delegation to China. Mr Ward assisted and worked in outback Western Australia with a variety of scientists, geologists, palaeontologists, geophysicists and others associated with geological surveying.

He had worked as an interpreter in transactions relating to native title. Mr Ward was involved in landcare, looked after water holes and baited foxes, dingoes and wild cats. He was a highly skilled hunter, but also assisted many non-indigenous people to see native wildlife such as bilbies and rock wallabies. As an elder, Mr Ward worked for many years in a battle to have the rights of his people in the Gibson Desert Nature Reserve recognised. Mr Ward was a well-known dancer and speaker and created works in glass including the art glass series, The Seven Seals of the Ngaanyatjarra Lands.