Gabriel Nodea was born in 1969 at the Derby Leprosarium hospital. He says his early life was complicated because he moved around to different places throughout the Kimberley. Nodea says his family moved from Texas Downs station to Wyndham, then to Halls Creek, Nookanbah and finally to Warmun. Nodea attended Ngalangangpum Community school in Warmun and then went to high school in Broome. He was the first student from Warmun to complete year ten. Nodea has worked for a long time in the Warmun community office and began painting in 2004. He stopped painting for several years and only began again recently. Nodea is a strong dancer and is an important holder of Gija culture and language.
Nodea says; ‘I paint what I dream. I do contemporary painting about the Dreaming and what I dream, in accordance with the Dreamtime connection and history of my Mother’s people, Gija people.’ 1990-2005, Nodea was a member of Norforce (North-West Mobile Force), has been Acting Chairperson Kimberley Law and Culture Centre (KALAC) and acts as Court Translator and Interpreter when required. He has also worked as a part-time carer in the Disability House in Warmun alongside his duties at the Art Centre. Nodea is well known as a dancer following performances in Paris and Canada and in 2010, Nodea led performers invited to the Art Gallery of NSW to perform at events associated with the launch of Art + Soul. Also in 2010 Nodea travelled to Beijing in China with other artists to represent Warmun Art in the ‘No-Name Station’ exhibition for the year of Australia/China cultural exchange.
Since 2009 Nodea has been employed as Cultural Liaison Officer at the Warmun Art Centre. In this role, he has initiated and built a Joonba (Corroboree) Ground alongside the art centre and is planning further initiatives for new cultural activities for the Warmun Art Centre to make the Centre a cultural hub for the Warmun Community. In 2010 Nodea completed both Certificate I and II Indigenous Leadership and was selected to complete the Wesfarmers Indigenous Leadership Course at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. In 2009 Gabriel Nodea was elected as the Chairperson of the Warmun Art Board of Directors and re-elected for 2010, 2011 and 2013. In 2010, Nodea was also elected as vice Chairperson of ANKAAA and representative Director for the Kimberly region. He now continues to play an important role in guiding the direction of the Warmun Art Centre and advises on cultural matters.
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For information about purchasing works, please contact the Art Centre on (08) 9168 7496.