John Williams Woonun

I was born on Brookdale Station, my father and mother worked there. My father was doing cattle work and my mother worked at a kitchen job, washing and cooking. My parents brought me back to the island and then went back to work, while my aunties and uncles raised me and I started going to school. In those days, mission days, my father Colin he didn't want that Peters name so he took Williams, that's why I'm Williams, after my Father’s name William Peters. This was the time when the Presbyterian Church came to the island. 

I used to dance a lot, liked hunting and camping when I was young. I remember going away for my first dance trip when I was twelve years old, we went to Sydney, big city. In my twenties I was still travelling with the dance troop, I've been to New Guinea a couple of times, America, India, England. It was good travelling round sharing our culture, especially sharing with the American Indians, good to see others dance, a lot of different cultures, makes me feel stronger about mine.

I started painting back in 2005 at the Art Centre, but I was living in my country farther from town carrying on from my father, three fathers I've got. There was three old brothers from my country, old Gully, William and Henry Peters. Now I've got two boys and my wife, we all live at our outstation at Birri. There I continued to paint and make artefacts to sell independently. I've come back to town now so can come to the art centre more regularly. Birri means place of many underground waters. We are showing our body painting, its something to share with our younger people and other people. We keep our body painting, its handed down from our fathers, its good to keep it going, I like painting, I'm a culture man. All this came from the old people way back in the dreaming.

John Williams Woonun

Artworks

10328-16

$1,000.00

John Williams

Thuwathu, 2016

121 x 91 cm

Acrylic on Belgian linen

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974-19

$150.00

John Williams

Seahawk Yarakara Body Painting, 2019

25.5 x 20 cm

Acrylic on linen board

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240-20

$700.00

John Williams

Barramundi Dreaming, 2020

40.5 x 51 cm

Acrylic on Belgian linen

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284-20

$1,500.00

John Williams

Gidegal Bana Thuwathu - The Moon and the Rainbow Serpent, 2020

80 x 38 cm

Ochre and acrylic on bark

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346-20

$800.00

John Williams

Thuwathu, 2020

79 x 59.5 cm

Acrylic on Belgian linen

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