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 Rammey Ramsay  (1935 - )

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Lived/Active: Australia      Known for: Aboriginal painting

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Warlawoon Country, 2007
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Bonhams Australia:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Rammey Ramsey spent his childhood years travelling around Warlawoon, an area that makes up part of Gija country to the west of Bedford Downs. Indeed, many of his paintings take the name Warlawoon which is also Ramsey's Gija name. Later he worked as a stockman at Bedford Downs, then Landsdowne Station and eventually settled at Bow River Station. As part of his traditional life Ramsey took part in ceremony, practicing body painting and making dance poles. He did not begin his career as an artist until 2000 when he joined Jirrawun Arts. An accomplished painter, he was immediately included in William Mora Galleries exhibition Gaagembi ? poor things alongside renowned artists Hector Jandany, Timmy Timms and Paddy Bedford. Like all of these men he paints the country to which he has rights, particularly focusing on the area north west of Halls Creek around Elgee Cliffs. Ramsey's first works for Jirrawun follow in the early East Kimberley style of painting of artists such as Rover Thomas and Jack Britten. He uses a traditional palette of three ochres - solid lattices of black outlining the topographical formations in his country bordered by white dots on a red ochre ground. According to Francis Kofod and Tony Oliver, some years later he expressed a desire 'to paint the ngarranggarni way' like his good friend, Paddy Bedford. He was to use this wet-on-wet technique employing large, gestural brushstrokes to create broad fields of gradating red, pink and white ? these abstract, ethereal works are a distinct departure from the early paintings. As Frances Kofod recounts, in Ramsey's works, 'The paint is applied with love and vigour, the dots like pearls stitched on a bed of pink and black raw silk. Images of hills, cliffs, rock wallaby holes, camping places, rivers, rocks in the riverbed, waterholes, roads, stockyards and meeting places appear as distillations of important features of the landscape. A line might be a road or a river, a circle a waterhole, a camping place or a cave; rectangles, stock yards or hills.' In 2011 Quentin Sprague curated an important exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne entitled Groundwork which centred around the work of Rammey Ramsey, Mick Jawalji and Janangoo Butcher Cherel. In 2013 Ramsey's work was included in Northern Impressions: a celebration of contemporary printmaking, toured by Northern Editions at Charles Darwin University to numerous regional galleries. He is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

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