The Australian War Memorial has acquired from us an important painting by the late Alec Forrest of Mangkaja Art Resources, Western Australia.
Titled Darnku Country, Forrest speaks of a time when his brother was helping to move cattle through the rugged Kimberly region. Forrest makes mention of the significant sites in the area and their importance to the local people. Of particular interest is that as he recalls the event and the country, he locates it specifically during the Second World War.
"That Kartiya mob picked my brother to lead them through the desert, it was a government job because of the second world war. My brother knows this country, that why they picked him. When the Germans were attacking England, my brother helped the Kartiya drove a big mob of cattle through country, not long after that the war stopped and England won" (quoted from the accompanying Mangkaja certificate). Forrest was born c.1930, which would put him in his teens at the time.
Forrest's report demonstrates that despite being in one of the most remote areas of Australia and probably having limited access to media sources, Forrest and his people were touched by Australia's involvement in the War and were abreast of current affairs.
The gallery is pleased to have facilitated this important acquisition.