BALBAL, Lydia; Wirnpa
Lydia Balbal is a member of the Bidyadanga artists’ group, who are noted for combining colours from their original desert country and the coastal lands where they now live. In the early 1970s, threatened by severe drought, many people left their desert homes and journeyed to the coastal settlement at La Grange Mission. This community was later renamed Bidyadanga.
Many successful artists have emerged from Bidyadanga over the last decade, though Balbal only began to paint on canvas in 2007. She continues Bidyadanga’s recently established style: here, abstract images veil stories relating to women’s ritual, vital waterholes and venomous snakes, and Balbal also includes the movement of subterranean waters, the desert’s hidden pulse of life, in white.