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Sam Assan An Aboriginal Artist That's Up And Coming

Mar 9, 2008
Sam is and Australian Aboriginal Artist and was born in December 1965 in Babinda, Queensland, the wettest town in Australia. He is from the Kalkadoon Tribe whose country is based around Mt. Isa, Qld. He grew up in Mt. Isa with the Kalkadoon and Doomadgee people. The Doomadgee people belong to the country north of Mt. Isa, in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Sam completed his schooling in Mt. Isa reaching Yr10. He became an Aboriginal Artist due to the inspiration he received from the stories told to him by the elders of the tribes he heralds from, and the fond memories he has of their passing down of these stories.

Sam is surprisingly articulate for a man who has a yr10 leaving certificate as his highest form of education, not as shy as some, and has a true entrepreneurial spirit about him. This could be due to the tiny little bit of Malay blood that he has inherited through his father's side.

Sam moved to Katherine in 1982 and became involved with the Jawyon and Wardaman people, learning about their country and listening to their stories. There are approximately 9 Tribes and 14 Language groups who live in and around Katherine, but the Jawyon and Wardaman Tribes are the 2 dominant ones. Jawyon country surrounds Katherine and takes in the Nitmiluk Gorge, which is actually a system of 13 Gorges running from the Kakadu National Park all the way down to Katherine. The country belonging to the Wardaman people is situated to the west of Katherine and takes in the Innesvale Station (Mengen).

Sam encouraged the Jawyon and Wardaman people that he has contact with to tell their stories through painting onto canvas. Sam enjoys painting on canvas, carving birds and fish, and making and painting didgeridoos. He spent some time with his grandfather Clifford Possum, one of the most famous Aboriginal Artists, staying with Clifford in Adelaide working as his assistant, and learning the craft from Clifford. When he talks of his time with Clifford you can see the love that he has for this period of his life's journey. He told me a story about how there would be many of Clifford's relatives gathering around as Clifford would do a painting, everyone taking a keen interest in how and why he did certain things, he said that there was a real party atmosphere when Clifford would decide to put paint to canvas.

Many of Sam's family have an artistic nature; one of his brothers works with a more modern medium. He makes and edits his own films, has all of his own equipment, and hopes one day to be able to turn his passion into a profitable business, but in the meantime he is working on a cattle station.

Sam, in his Aboriginal Artwork, depicts the stories told to him by his people in Queensland, the Kalkadoon and Doomadgee people and the people of the tribes from around Katherine. He uses the mediums of wood, canvas and ceramic tiles although a great favorite of his is hand carved didgeridoos. Grab Sams work before the sales take off.
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Aboriginal Art Sales specializes
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