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Kirsty Burgu

Mowanjum Art and Culture Centre

Kirsty is the youngest daughter of Roger Burgu (dec), a well-known Ngarinyin elder and painter. Kirsty was born at Mowanjum 10km from Derby in the West Kimberley of Western Australia, and has lived most of her life there, except for time spent in study, which in recent years saw her ordained as a Pastor in the Uniting Church.

Kirsty is as intensely engaged with the traditional Culture of her people as she is with Christianity. She deftly portrays the stories and philosophy of these two worlds within her work, where she regularly depicts the first two Wandjina Idjair the father (God) and Wodjin the son (Jesus).

Kirsty says: ‘I really like painting. Painting is how I share all the stories that I have been told with the young ones. I remember when I was small, the electricity went out early. We would fall asleep around the fire, we didn’t have TV for entertainment. My dad would say: ‘come I’ll tell you story now,’ so me and my brother would go and sit in his arms and listen until we fell asleep. The paintings I do now have the stories that Dad mob told me. There are so many stories and they all have so much to teach us about life.’