National Indigenous Times: Near record price for Aboriginal artwork

Aboriginal Art Directory | 11.08.06

A painting by Aboriginal artist Rover Thomas depicting the destruction of Darwin by Cyclone Tracy has set a near record price at auction in Melbourne last week.

The 1986 work, Bugaltji, Lissadell Country, sold for $660,000 at Sotheby’s 10th Aboriginal art auction in Melbourne.

The painting was based on a Dreaming story revealed to Thomas by the spirit of an aunt killed in a car accident on a road flooded by the cyclone, which devastated Darwin on Christmas Day, 1974.

The sale price was the second-highest ever achieved for an Aboriginal art work, Sotheby’s Aboriginal art director Tim Klingender said.

It was bought by a British telephone bidder who had viewed the painting at an earlier showing in London and had “fallen in love with it”, Sotheby’s said.


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