Thursday, September 1, 2016

John Smith Gumbula - art

Yesterday I went to the thrift store looking for more lampshades to paint. I didn't find any lampshades but I did find this. I'm so excited. It will go in the "colorful" River House.

16x20 on canvas backed fabric

Text on the top left corner says "Gecko".  On the right it says "Aboriginal Art Australia" and in the lower right it says John Smith Gambula

I'm not sure if it is an original acrylic or if in fact it is a silk screen or something else. You can definitely feel the texture of the paint on the surface and the signature looks right.  Who knows, it may not even be authentic.  Perhaps it was made for the tourist trade with that "Aboriginal Art Australia" in the upper corner.  

I tried to find out more about the artist online. I did find a couple of similar works by the artist. This is about all I came up with about the artist himself.  In Brisbane, Queensland, painter and glass craftsman John Smith Gumbula is an artist much in demand.  He is currently finishing a major glass commission for the new Criminal Justice Commission building on Creek Street.

Patricia, a blogging friend who frequently posts here, lives there and is well connected in the art community.  I'm hoping she will have something to add to my knowledge.

In any case, I paid $5.00 for it and I'm delighted.  Now I need to find the right frame.


  1. Very COOL art, and a great find....IMHO!

  2. Great find Darla will be interested what Patricia thinks;).

  3. Great find Darla will be interested what Patricia thinks;).

  4. This is beautiful and I'm really impressed with the colors and design. You chose well!

  5. What a find.
    You have a good eye.
    It really is colorful Darla.

  6. Darla, I really like your work of art, and what a fantastic buy for the price. John Smith Gambula, as you might have found from Google, is a recognised urban Indigenous Australian artist. In fact he is currently engaged, with another artist, in the execution of a public sculpture to be placed at Anzac Square, our Brisbane Memorial to those lost in war. The sculpture is a belated recognition of the many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who served in both World Wars, only to be ignored and whitewashed from history. The Gecko lizard is very common in Queensland, and we have them running about at our house too. I really like the green with the rust/orange tones. It is possible that it is a limited edition print, which are produced from the work of good quality local artists, although it could be his original work too. The Aboriginal art market is quite closely controlled, to protect the artists and the public, and is very popular with visitors to our country.

  7. I have seen a lot of aboriginal art in that style. It's so colourful and attractive. How funny to think it has made that journey across thousands of miles to you!