Betty Carrington Australian, Gija, b. 1944
Betty Carrington was born on Texas Downs, but grew up with her family at the old Turkey Creek Post Office and Police Station (now the Warmun Art Centre). Carrington's father was a police tracker and her family lived there until the police station closed when they moved back to Texas Downs. Carrington worked on Texas as a housekeeper, and remembers the long hours of hard work. She worked at everything from chopping wood, clearing rocks from roads, cooking and scrubbing floors, to going out bush for bullock.
Carrington has travelled extensively throughout Australia representing Kimberley and Gija people in dance and cultural festivals in cities including Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. She started painting in 1998 when Warmun Art Centre was established by the leading members of the Warmun Community.
Carrington uses a large range of subtle ochre colours, her delicate palette and style often describing strong and painful stories of historical events in the East Kimberley. One recurring visual reference in Carrington's paintings is the rolling hills of her father's country, Darrajayin (Springvale Station). Carrington also paints landscapes from her mother's country, Texas Downs Station, as well as Ngarrangkarni (Dreaming) places. Carrington uses painting as a medium to relate accounts of historical events post-white settlement, such as the Mistake Creek massacre and the Warmun gymkhana where Aboriginal people working on Texas Downs station were first introduced to alcohol.
Carrington and her partner Patrick Mung Mung are constant figures at the Warmun Art Centre. They take on the role of teaching - by example - the younger members of their extended family. The couple actively passes on Ngarrankarni (Dreaming) stories and techniques to master the medium of natural ochres.