Churchill Cann Texas Downs Station, Warmun, Western Australia, Australia, b. 1944


Churchill Cann was born and grew up on Texas Downs Station, northeast of Warmun, where he worked as a stockman for most of his life. His bush name is 'Yiliyarri'. Cann has travelled extensively throughout the Kimberley, working on many different cattle stations between Warmun and Broome. When station work finished, Cann moved to Warmun Community to live, where he is well known as an important ceremonial dancer, bushman and senior artist. He is one of the few remaining medicine men for the Gija language group; he inherited this role from his father. Many of  Cann’s siblings are also artists; they include Nancy Nodea and Katie Cox. His painting style is distinctive, with soft, painterly marks that describe Cann’s aerial view of the landscape that maps out his "Country".


Cann’s paintings are carefully observed topographical maps, with his "Country" located northeast of the Warmun Community on what is now called Texas Downs Station. His paintings involve aspects of traditional Ngarranggarni Dreaming stories as well as his own experiences in this region as a stockman and station hand. When undertaking a painting, he will often spend some time reflecting and considering what aspect of his "Country" or experience he will communicate. 


In 2013, Cann won Western Australian Artist of the Year at the Western Australian Artist Awards.