Australian Art


Jack Dale Mengenen
Jack Dale Mengenen

AKA: Jack Dale

Born: 1922 East Kimberly, Australia

Died: 2013
  • Aboriginal
  • Abstract
  • Traditional
  • Known
  • Established
Three Wandjinas
Three Wandjinas

Born circa 1922 at Mount House Station in the eastern Kimberley to an indigenous mother and a Scotsman. He grew up with his mother in a traditional lifestyle of the Ngarinyin people. He learned the law and lore of his people and built up a knowledge of the local sacred sites. This including the famous Wandjinas rock art which he incorporated into some of his work.
As an adult he worked as a stockman on cattle stations in the Kimberley region. Jack began painting in the 1990's, working with traditional ochre pigments. He has made large ceremonial boards used by traditional dancers to re-enact Dreaming stories. He has used his extensive cultural knowledge to record aspects of the Wandjina Dreaming sites of his people. He has also recorded his own memories from a long life lived at the frontier of Kimberley life, recalling the historical changes he had witnessed. These have included the arrival of afghan camel drivers, the enforced captivity of aboriginal workers, the conflicts between whites and blacks, the work of missionaries, and other sometimes humorous memories from life in the stock camps.
Prison Boab Tree
Prison Boab Tree

Selected Exhibitions:

2000 "Jack Dale-Senior Law Man", Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne
2001 "Kimberley Works", Burrinja Gallery, Melbourne
2001 "Jack Dale-Djumba Ceremonies", Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne
2001 "Wandjina", Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney
2002 "Jack Dale - Kimberley History", Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne
2003 "Jack Dale" Kintolai Gallery, Adelaide,
2003 "Jack Dale- Narrungunni Dreamplaces", Japingka Gallery, Fremantle


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