Sandy Brumby Pukatja, South Australia, b. 1950
Sandy Brumby was born in the bush at Victory Downs, an outstation near Pukatja (formerly known as Ernabella). He grew up there with his mother, father, brother and sister. Brumby worked at Mount Cavanagh, a cattle station near Kulgera in the Northern Territory. He was a stockman; mustering bullocks, fencing, and tending to the cattle. Brumby met his wife, Tjukapati Nola Brumby, in Pukatja, and from there, they moved to the Amata community for some time. Eventually, they settled in Pipalyatjara, where they had two children - a boy and a girl. Brumby has been in the Pipalyatjara area for many years, since before fully established Kalka and Pipalyatjara communities. In 2010, in his sixties, Brumby picked up a paintbrush for the first time, and then began visiting the art centre religiously ever since, having discovered a passion for paint and a strong need to tell his story. The iconography within Brumby’s work is reminiscent of symbols that can be seen in rock or cave paintings around Uluru and Kata Tjuta. His raw and bold paintings demonstrate a powerful connection to his country and culture. He has a deep love of colour and uses a broad palette when he paints, selecting colours that sing beautifully together.
Brumby’s approach to telling his story through art is highly individual. Although his paintings are simple in composition and raw in their application of paint, his brush strokes are delicate, belying the mighty spirit in his painting. In the relatively short period he has been painting, his works have been acquired by significant public collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria and Queensland Art Gallery.