Aileen Sandy

Yinjaa Barni Artists

Aileen Sandy was born in Roebourne in 1951 and has lived there ever since. Her parents were Sandy Andrews and Lila King and Aileen is the third of their eleven children. “My parents had moved in to town from Mt Florence station in their ancestral country in the Tablelands, but they still worked at the station seasonally and we would go back there for school holidays sometimes. One of the jobs I remember my dad used to have was as a dogger – tracking and catching dingoes.” Aileen started practising art early in 2007 and has rapidly forged a distinctive style of her own. She enjoys depicting her country with straight lines, circles and dots and she works continuously exploring new techniques and extending her visual vocabulary. Always keen to experiment with new styles and colours, Aileen works with great absorption and no care for time. Sometimes she mixes river sand into her paint to achieve a textured effect on her canvases. While using traditional dotting as a method, she also taps into non-traditional styles, creating works that have a mixture of traditional and contemporary influences. While her methods may be hybrid, Aileen’s subject matter is deeply attached to her traditional country. She likes to paint the vibrant colours of her Pilbara homeland – the reds of the earth and the varied colours that stream across the Fortescue rock faces. Her talent and idiosyncratic style have quickly become recognised. Aileen was also interested in basket weaving for a while. She would dye silk and tear it into strips to make small baskets, and she also wove bags and baskets with natural grasses. In 2011 the Art Gallery of Western Australia acquired one of her paintings for the State collection, having bought one of her baskets the previous year. In 2010 she was the winner of the Cossack Art Award for the category: Northwest Landscape Painting.

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