Private Exhibition of Important Aboriginal Art
11 October 2011


(c.1935 - 2002)

synthetic polymer paint on linen

137.0 x 81.5 cm

inscribed verso: artist's name, size and Karen Brown Gallery cat. KB0535


Commissioned by Karen Brown Gallery, Darwin
Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne (label attached verso)
Private collection, United States of America
Sotheby's, Melbourne, 25 July 2005, lot 175
Private collection, South Australia

Catalogue text

Renowned for his unique interpretations of body decorations and markings used in the ceremonial activities of the Larrakia people, Prince of Wales (Midpul) drew inspiration from these traditional activities for the imagery in his contemporary paintings. Born Midpul around 1938 at Belyuen (Dellisaville), a small community on the far side of Darwin Harbour. He was the son of acknowledged Larrakia leader and traditional land owner Imabul (Old King George) and was also known as Prince of Wales, this title was re-enforced when he danced for Queen Elizabeth during a royal trip to Australia in the 1960s. He was a custodian and leader of Larrakia ceremonies and dances, a leading didgeridoo player and ceremonial body painter for much of his life. He started painting in 1995, initially on discarded pieces of wood and cardboard and participated in his first exhibition the following year. His first solo show was in Melbourne in 1997 and in 2001 he won the painting sections of the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. Prince delighted in the whole process of painting, creating modern minimalist art works, characterized by simple geometric forms floating above a sparse ground with dotting emphasizing the forms.