14 May 2018
On my trip to Port Hedland I popped into the wonderful Spinifex Hills Studio. I was excited to meet the amazing Nyaparu (William) Gardiner and to check out a recent drawing/painting on paper that was about 3m long! (detail above). Winnie Sampi (right) was a delight too. She overheard me mentioning to another artist, my family connection to Wittenoom and when I got close to her table, she said, 'I was born in Wittenoom you know'. This sparked a lovely conversation about her memories there as a child, including riding on top of the mail truck from Roebourne to Wittenoom for the school holidays and then running straight to the bakery on arrival. The Italian immigrants made great bread apparently! I showed her a photograph I had in my phone of my Dad as a toddler standing on an old veranda in Wittenoom. She laughed at how cute Dad looked in the photo. I learned that Winnie and Dad were both born in the same year prompting me to wonder whether their childhood paths ever crossed.
This is a highly productive studio run by very dedicated people, Greg Taylor (Studio Manager) and Nicole Leuchter (Studio Co-ordinator). It is open to the public and there are literally 100's of paintings in the stockroom.