Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori Bentinck Island, Queensland, Australia, 1924-2015

Sally Gabori was born around 1924 on the south side of Bentinck Island of the South Wellesley Island Group in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland. In 1946 and 1947 severe drought affected the communities in the gulf area and in 1948 Bentinck Island had great tidal waves or high tides. This culminated in a deterioration of the Kaiadilt homelands and the Presbyterian Missionaries transported the entire population to their Mission on Mornington Island. Gabori came to Mornington Island with her husband, Pat Gabori, as one of his four wives. She came to painting late in her life, however she received critical acclaim as a finalist in the Xstrata Coal Emerging Indigenous Art Award, Queensland Art Gallery, and the ABN AMRO Emerging Artist Award, both in 2006. Major works by Gabori were acquired by the Musee du quai Branly, Paris, the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane as well as major private collections. Gabori went on to exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts in London and represented Australia in the 2013 Venice Biennale.


Gabori’s immense legacy was honoured in the major retrospective exhibition Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori: Dulka Warngiid – Land of All at the Queensland Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia. A solo exhibtion of Gabori’s work was celebrated at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain in Paris, France in 2021.