In Adelaide South Australia, Sarrita King was born on March 5 1988. She is younger sister to artist Tarisse King and daughter of renowned influential indigenous artist, the late William King Jungala. Her combinations of styles, philosophies and pictorial story-telling have become characteristic of her work, resulting in acclaim and world-recognition as an iconic artist in her own right.
‘My works try to capture philosophies and elements of life that everyone can relate to and feel a connection to. This brings the viewer into the artwork and helps… them to understand Aboriginal culture.’ (Sarrita King)
Spending her formative years in the harsh and exacting Northern Territory, she was close to the spirit of her people, the Gurindji tribe and she daily felt the degradation, reparation, hope and beauty of a land that was in constant flux, turmoil and renewal.
At the age of 16 she began to paint. The sand hills, lightning, space, direction, mass, torrential rain, fire, rivers of sand – everywhere the inspiration was rife and plentiful. Representing these visually riveting and dramatic Australian icons on canvas was the challenge that Sarrita accepted and dominated.
William King Jungala – the influence and legacy
Being born as the second daughter to the great indigenous artist William King meant that Sarrita and older sister Tarisse were always in the presence of a seemingly omniscient artistic eye that brought even the most mundane of elements into a vibrant and visceral reality that could not be ignored.
When asked about William, Sarrita comments: ‘His openness, life philosophy and storytelling compelled both of us to follow in his footsteps and carry on his legacy through the art.’
William and his daughters often shared great moments of philosophising, extrapolating on ideas and sharing artistic intentions.
‘I think every one of my works has an influence from either an artwork of his (William King) or a story he shared with us.’
Developing a unique style
Sarrita is a self-confessed artist of today – she unashamedly combines methods and techniques from past and present times and is developing a future style for all generations to enjoy. She admits that ‘dotting’ is not necessarily a long tradition of indigenous artists and she uses it in amongst a variety of other methods, which combined; bring a driving and passionate energy to her contemporary work.
Sarrita, eloquent and descriptive in word as well as image, undertook a Bachelor of Journalism in Adelaide, but has returned to her deeper love of art and is currently in Darwin from where she often journeys deep into the lands that support and cherish not only her people but her talent and aspirations.
Her style is uniquely her own and is applauded not only in Australia but on the world-stage across Europe, Canada and elsewhere.
Exhibiting in Paris
She first began exhibiting her work in Adelaide in 2006. From here it was like an explosion of interest and popularity. Australia, and then the world, couldn’t get enough of her inimitable work.
In 2009 she was asked to exhibit in Paris. It was like a dream come true.
‘To be working and displaying down the hall from greats such as Dali and Picasso was priceless. Also to be so far from home and still see our culture upheld and represented and respected in the Quai Branly museum just made me so happy for Aboriginal art and culture.’
This was the highlight of her career to date and is just one of many exhibitions that has drawn to her, the fame and accolades she so richly deserves.