Underground: Lydia Balbal
Eight years ago Lydia Balbal walked into the Yulparitja studio and announced it was time for her to paint. Filled with sass and confidence she proceeded to launch into her painting journey with purpose and poise.
Balbal's early works showed perceivable layers filled with tracks, creation serpents and waterholes. Her later works hide the layers, though they are still there amongst a dense layering of soft paint tonally built up over time, announcing Lydia as a natural born artist.
Years on Balbal's initial call in a 2012 interview rings true to her spirit, 'I know I am the best. Because I am a bush woman, I grew up there. In the bush'. Her newest offerings play with the shimmer of the desert, mimicking the colour, light and the beauty of her country.
The sense of space and the vastness of her land is evident. As she has said, 'I am painting underground. What's underground, upside down. Rocks, waterholes, lines beneath the sand dunes'. The layers and tonality is expert, hiding the land she grew up in and paints so well. The country of her youth swathed in beauty. Opens 16 November 2017.