Daniel Walbidi Australian, Yulparitja / Mangala, b. 1983
Daniel Walbidi comes from a small coastal community 250km south of Broome called Bidyadanga which is the traditional homeland of the Karrajarri people. Formerly La Grange Mission, it is where people were brought into from the desert to help build the cattle stations there. This is how Daniel's desert parents came to live at the coast. Bidyadanga has five tribes living within the community. Daniel says "We all speak and understand each other's languages and live together as one big family." At the age of 16 Daniel actively sought to exhibit his work. He was painting on wood board, old doors, off cuts and anything he could find to express himself. He urged the elderly people in the community to start painting so that he could learn about his people's history and cultural background. He has since become initiated and continues to paint and exhibit his work around Australia. He has been collected by some important institutions and is driven to keep painting. A documentary has been made about his work and the story of his people called Desert Heart which screened on the ABC in March 2008. He continues to display a complex understanding of his traditional country in the Great Sandy Desert of Western Australia.
Daniel Walbidi was awarded the painting prize at the National Indigenous Art Awards at the Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory in 2014. He was named among the Top 50 of Australia's Most Collectable Artists in Australian Art Collector for 2011. His work has been exhibited around the world including the Metropolitan Museum in New York.