Doreen Chapman

Spinifex Hill Studios

‘Been born Jigalong.  Big sister for my son, Dennis Thomas. [S]he been come this way, Hedland.  Doreen, [and] me, [are] from Karntimarta, Warralong.  I been bring him [her] here.  Little girl [s]he start painting, in Warralong.  [S]he looking… looking… [s]he quick painter, quickly, looking, looking.  No fishing, no hunting, no car, painting, painting every day eh?  You been bring ‘em, [s]he painting, painting, painting!’ [laughs] Maywokka May Chapman [mother]

Doreen was born in Jigalong in 1971 and has spent her life moving between Western Desert communities in the Pilbara, Western Australia.   She is a Manyjilyjarra artist and has spent the majority of her adult life in Warralong, a community 120km south-east of Port Hedland.  She started painting with her mother, Maywokka May Chapman, and she first exhibited with Martumili artists in 2010.  In recent years she has spent more time in Port Hedland and began painting at the Spinifex Hill Studios.  As a deaf woman, painting is a crucial medium of communication and storytelling.

Language group: Manjilyajarra
Language: Australian Aboriginal Sign Language