Australian Indigenous culture is well known for its nomadic lifestyle. Tarisse often reflects on the fact that her ancestors would constantly move from one campsite to another to find a better food & water source and for better shelter to suit the seasonal conditions.
Her father, the late William King, passed down this series of paintings to Sarrita. The imagery reflects on the patterns of the earth while reflecting on the circle. The deeper meaning behind this painting is the connection between all people and the world around them. The circles and dots identify the connections and relationships found throughout life.
This is the earth’s story. It is also the story of black and white upon the land and the history we have created and carved into it by our interactions with one another. The intersections of black and white culture and how they meet, creating a narrative in the land and in history, and then moving on in their individual and collaborative journeys are abstractly depicted. These paintings thematically diverge from Sarrita’s elemental inspired series. In an abstract way Sarrita references the iconography of the Tingari creation ancestors with her use of strong rectangles. These are then given body with dots and dashes, similar to Morse code. These symbols of communication are haunting in their familiarity, like an ancient language that was once known but now sits dormant at the back of one’s memory. The overall aesthetic is bold and assertive, and just like much iconography in Aboriginal cultures, the ancient now appears contemporary.
Driven to map the country around Katherine, where her ancestors once walked, Tarisse depicts land formations such as rivers, rock holes, billabongs, shelters, tracks and food sources.In this series, Tarisse visually explores the way her ancestors interacted and lived with the environment.
Tarisse composes traditional Aboriginal iconography in sharp white lines, circles, arcs and dots often upon a single colour canvas to create a bold aesthetic that has a foot in the contemporary art aesthetic and the traditional.Song lines that ancestors once walked run across the canvas in different directions, the spaces created by this are filled with concentric circles representing different family clans or ‘life forces’, symbols for food and shelter.Well balanced, the canvas has a graphic look and a contemporary feel, indicative of Tarisse’s ability to make the ancient appear new.
Drawing on the teachings of her influential father, Tarisse recalls the philosophy he taught her – that everything in life is circular. There is no beginning and no end. Unlike her sister, Sarrita who paints the same thematic in thick textured paint, Tarisse uses thin, flat paint sticking within the tonal variations of one colour. She creates a refined and sophisticated look and the colours of yellow, pink or blue construct a modern design. The repetition of the circle across the canvas refers to her father’s philosophy but is completed with such preciseness that it aesthetically resembles the accuracy of a print.
Sarrita’s Lightning paintings are a painted memory of the electrical storms in the tropical climate of Darwin where Sarrita spent her youth. The lightning would crack across the entire sky, creating lines not dissimilar to cracked earth. And with the lightning came the winds that in their fury whipped up all the dust, rain, heat and magnetic energy into a maelstrom in the air. Sarrita would discover new patterns and colours every time she witnessed these natural light shows.
Sarrita paints the lightning series in two main ways: she either encapsulates the intensity of the storm and the driving rain to the point where it is seemingly audible or contrarily, she points out the subtle beauty within the storm and the way in which the elements gracefully twist and turn between the dramatic lightning strikes.