George Cooley APY Lands, b. 1953

George Cooley is a senior man and community leader from Coober Pedy. He holds leadership positions across the Umoona and Coober Pedy communities and is a talented artist and opal miner. Cooley paints the landscape surrounding his Country, particularly the Breakaways, an important site, north of Coober Pedy, known for its spectacular hills, mesas and plains.
Cooley says: "My story is about the painted desert landscapes, landscaping of Country and the environment of Coober Pedy. I've been living in Coober Pedy since 1958. I try to capture the beauty of the ochre colours around the country I love. Granite rocks, hills, mulga scrubs. The way the colours change in different seasons, the red dirt as you go further north. As an opal miner, I also capture the brilliant colours of the opals and the way in blends in with the ochre shades. Using these colours reminds me of living on Country and the many campsites that we used to visit when the old people were still around."