Her name designates her place of birth - Mirdidingki, a tiny cove situated on the Southern end of Bentinck Island - and the dolphin, her totemic ancestor. Born in 1924 on the Island of Bentinck in the Gulf of Carpentaria in the extreme North of Queensland in Australia, Mirddingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori dedicated the last part of her life transmitting onto canvas the traditions of the Kaiadilt, the last Aboriginal people of Australia to have established lasting ties with Europe. Before a typhoon and a tsunami, in 1948, forced Sally Gabori and her whole family to move to the Island of Mornington - an exile that swept away, in an instant, the culture and tradition of the Kaiadilt - Sally, like many Kaiadilt women, dedicated herself to fishing. Only in the 1990s, after years of struggle, Australia passed legislation which finally recognised the rights of the Aborigeni, allowing Sally to return to the island of her birth. So, in 2005, Sally Gabori, over eighty years old, began painting canvases dense with the reverberations of those places and stories belonging to her family and her people. With a combination of colours and forms in numerous formats, in nine years of artistic practice, she painted over two-thousand canvases. The exhibition at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain presents around thirty of these works, including the monumental canvases that were so essential to her career, as well as the three paintings created in collaboration with other Kaiadilt artists, including her daughters. Thanks to exceptional loans from the key Australian galleries, the exhibition allows the public to discover the style of this great master of colours whose notable modern painting is profoundly anchored in the history of her people.
A territory of sharp contrasts, lacerated by migration policies and an omnipresent colonial legacy mark this artistic itinerary.
Built around the samurai, the exhibition, through prints, armour, works of art and photos, retraces the many aspects of these warriors.