Butcher Cherel Janangoo was a key elder of the Gooniyandi language group in the Kimberley and was instrumental in the retention of men’s law ceremony at Muludja Community.
Janangoo features a selection of Butcher’s paintings from the early 2000s, which he made to preserve and transmit this significant body of cultural knowledge to the younger generation. These works have never been shown outside of Fitzroy Crossing.
The exhibition provides glimpses into Butcher Janangoo’s cultural and physical environment. As he stated, “with my eyes, my heart and with my brain I am thinking. When I go to sleep night time, I might talk to myself ‘ah, I might do (paint) that one tomorrow,’ not dreaming; I think about what to do next.”
“Janangoo (Butcher Cherel) was named Western Australia’s state living treasure not once but twice in 1994 and 2005. A senior Gooniyandi elder, a linguist in four Kimberley languages; two by birthright Kija and Gooniyandi, Walmajarri and Bunuba learnt during the station days. His most important title however would be father, uncle, grandfather and great grandfather.
His artistic style consists of modern abstracts that one would not consider traditional Indigenous art form. True contemporary art!
He painted the land that he loved, the traditional stories that were passed on to him, the seasons and the food that comes with each season.
Janangoo started painting later on in his life, working on different mediums including lino prints, etching, paper and canvas.
Mangkaja’s early years were defined by acrylic on paper and his preferred medium.
Fremantle Arts Centre is situated at Walyalup on Whadjuk Nyoongar Boodjar.
Fremantle Arts Centre is situated at Walyalup on Whadjuk Nyoongar Boodjar. We acknowledge the Whadjuk people as the traditional owners and custodians of these lands and waterways and extend our respect to their Elders, past and present.
We offer our heartfelt gratitude to the Whadjuk community and to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who continue to care for Country and share their knowledge – this generosity and wisdom helps us to understand and navigate Country safely and respectfully.