The vibrant colours of East Arnhem Land: Meet our new Gallery resident, Jill Daniels

Koskela is excited to announce our new bold and vibrant exhibition at Koskela Gallery: Kauboi en Kaugel Kantri (Cowboy and Cowgirl Country) by the incredibly talented Ritharrŋu and Madarrpa artist, Jill Daniels.

A rising star in Australia’s contemporary art scene, Jill Daniels is known for her ability to translate South East Arnhem Land’s magnificent diversity of life into bright, bold and colourful works of art. 

Her playful, poetic style has been noticed by patrons across the country. She's a member of the illustrious Ngukurr Arts collective (we’ve covered them on the Journal already) and Last year she was invited to participate in the critically acclaimed NATSIAA Salon des Refusés exhibition.

Now she is bringing her talents to the Koskela Gallery.

Her latest exhibition Kauboi en Kaugel Kantri, which means Cowboy and Cowgirl Country in Kriol, includes 17 individual pieces that showcase Jill’s talents across multiple mediums – paintings on canvas, works on paper and sculpture. All the works depict important stories and moments from her childhood, growing up on the remote cattle stations of Ngukurr in South East Arnhem Land.

“I do landscape, cattle station, drawing the cattle, horses and billabongs,” Jill says “Stockmen, looking out on the cattle.”

I do landscape, cattle station, drawing the cattle, horses and billabongs,” Jill says “Stockmen, looking out on the cattle.”

Ngukurr is located on the banks of the Northern Territory’s Roper River. It’s a regional community made up of many different clans, including Ngalakgan, Alawa, Mangarrayi, Ngandi, Marra, Wandarrang, Nunggubuyu, Ritharrngu-Wagilak and Rembarrnga. Together, they’re known as Yugul Mangi. Jill’s vibrant colours and detailed brush work really bring this unique landscape to life. “I like painting,” Jill says.Before I used one colour, but this time I use many colours to make them look bright.”

Jill’s pieces also point to an important part of Australian history, highlighting the significant role First Nations people played on cattle stations as local knowledge holders, traditional custodians of the land, and extremely skilled cattlemen.

The landscapes Jill calls home were a natural artistic inspiration when she took up painting in 2003. “I used to come here to the art centre and see my sister, Amy Johnson [Jirwulurr], how she paints, and I decided to come and join in at the art centre,” Jill says.

All 17 pieces from Kauboi en Kaugel Kantri are for sale, spanning some very accessible price points. So whether you are a novice enthusiast or an experienced collector, this is a rare opportunity to acquire one of Jill Daniels’ in-demand works of art. “A lot of my paintings have been sold out everywhere,” Jill humbly admits.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming curated exhibitions throughout the year. Koskela Gallery hosts a new artist every six weeks, and we’ll be posting details and dates ahead of each exhibition. 

Kauboi en Kaugel Kantri opens at the Koskela Gallery on April 26th for Koskela Club members, and April 28th for the general public.