Rusty Peters Springvale Station, Turkey Creek, Western Australia, 1935-2020

Rusty Peters was a senior Gija man of Juwurru skin. His bush name Dirjji refers to dingo pups looking out of a hole at the sunrise. His detailed knowledge of the land and stories from Springvale and neighbouring Moolabulla stations is reflected in distinctive paintings in traditional red and yellow ochres and black charcoal. While recognisably part of the ‘Turkey Creek’ style the intricate curves mapping the country and the dark caves and rivers in the pictures are particular to Peters work. 


In 2015, Peters was a finalist in the 32nd Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, and in 2017, three of his paintings were featured in Defying Empire, the exhibition of the 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial at the National Gallery of Australia Canberra, and later at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. In 2018, at age 84, he painted a 5-metre triptych depicting his inimitable East Kimberley night starry skies over Darrajayin, his ancestral land. The beautiful and moving painting was acquired by ARTBANK, an entity of the Australian Government specialised in loaning and rotating the works of Australian artists in private and public institutions.