I have lived at Utopia my whole life, caring for the land and keeping a connection with my family's ancestors through the Dreaming of my country. I go out looking for the right trees, which I carve to make my sculptures. I use an axe, tomahawk and a large rasp.
Here I have carved three of my favourite players. They are all great players and I love watching them play. I like to gather around the television with my sons and watch the AFL on Imparja. Even better is going to see my sons play for the Pungalindum Eagles in our local bush football competition. Families come from all around to watch the bush football games - although not as many people as at the MCG!
One day I hope that I can go back to Melbourne with all my sons to see all our favourite players in action.
Courtesy of Mossenson Galleries
Dinni Kunoth Kemarre was born in 1954 at Ankerrapwe (Utopia Homestead) in the Northern Territory. As a young man he worked as a stockman on the surrounding stations, riding horses and mustering cattle.
Dinni began carving in 2005, assisting his wife Josie Kunoth Petyarre. In 2006, Dinni and Josie carved 16 sculptures of football players which were exhibited as Centre Bounce at the AFL Hall of Fame in Melbourne. Since then, Dinni and Josie have come to national attention as astute chroniclers of the world around them.
He has been a finalist in the Basil Sellers Art Award, the Xstrata Emerging Indigenous Art Awards, the WA Indigenous Art Awards and was highly commended in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in 2007 and 2011.
Dinni lives and works at Utopia, alongside his wife Josie and their nine children Alan, Simon, Patrick, Benjamin, Doreen, Julie Anne, Sonya, Melanda and Bobby.
acrylic on wood
34 x 35 x 30 cm
Judges of the 2014 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize: Lisa Havilah (Director of Carriageworks), Justin Miller (International Art Advisor and former Chairman of Sotheby's Australia) and Gretel Packer (Arts Patron and Trustee of the Art Gallery of NSW).
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