Lloyd Kwilla

Born 1980

Lloyd Kwilla was bprn in Derby, in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Kwilla grew up at Christmas Creek Station and its nearby community of Wangkajunga on the northern edge of the Great Sandy Desert. It is a land of mountain ranges, sandhills, rockholes and wide desert horizons. It is also filled with rich artistic tradition.

Some of the greatest artists of the contemporary Aboriginal Art movement have come from this area in Australia. They include Rover Thomas (who represented Australia in the Venice Biennale in 1990), Queenie McKenzie, Freddie Timms and Kwilla's father Billy Thomas (Karnta Karnta). All have worked using the wide variety of local ochres (all natural pigments), ranging from brilliant pink to powder blue, across a spectrum of browns, blacks and whites.

Lloyd currently lives at Wangkajunga community east of Fitzroy Crossing with his wife, Michelle and five children. In recent years he has worked in various mines in the Kimberley but inn 2007 gave up mining to become a full time artist. In 2003 he started to work alongside his father Billy Thomas (Karnta Karnta), a renowned artist from whom he learnt a great deal before Billy retired from painting. Lloyd's work has a quality and feel of actual life in his country that he knows so intimately. The paintings refer directly to the Waterholes (Jumu) and Sandhills (Tali) of the Great Sandy Desert.

Kwilla is heir to this tradition. Using the actual earth as his medium, his images define the contours of the land, charting its shapes and recording its histories.

Water and waterholes have played an important role In the desert regions of Australia in the evolution of indigenous peoples. Subterranean tunnels connect waterholes. For the Wangkajunga people of the Great Sandy Desert, knowledge of the waterholes was crucial to survival while living a traditional lifestyle. As a boy, Lloyd walked much of the desert with his father Billy Thomas, and subsequently understands their huge importance, learning the detail of how they all connect through a myriad of underground streams.

"There is a strong rhythmic and free painterly quality in the works of thirty two year old Aboriginal artist, Lloyd Kwilla that is rarely seen in the medium of ochre. Swirls of browns to light sand-colour to deep chocolates and greys, edged by white, meander in gently curved lines cutting like a rover through sandy soil, to a central waterhole site at the heart of the painting."

Susan McCulloch, Australian Art Critic.


Solo Exhibitions

2011 Trevor Victor Harvey, Syndey
2010 Randall Lane, Perth (with Claude Carter)
2010 McCulloch and McCulloch & Salt Comtemporary Art, Queenscliff, Victoria
2008 Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, UK
2007 Red Rock Art, Cullen Bay Gallery, Darwin, NT
2007 SoMA Galleries, Adelaide, South Australia

Selected Group Exhitions

2009 The Weekend Australian Art Melbourne, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
2008 The Weekend Australian Art Sydney, Royal Hall of Industries, Sydney
2008 The Weekend Australian Art Melbourne, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
2007 Alison Kelly Gallery, Melbourne
2006 Red Rock Art, Cullen Bay Gallery, Darwin
2005 Red Rock Art, Cullen Bay Gallery, Darwin
2005 Shapiro Gallery, Randell Lane Fine Art & Red Rock Art, Sydney
2004 Depot Gallery, Randell Lane Fine Art & Red Rock Art, Sydney



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