DETAIL : Jimmy BAKER 'Katatjita' 2006 synthetic polymer paint on canvas, Courtesy of Marshall Arts Aboriginal Fine Art Gallery, � Jimmy Baker


I am Meeyakba Shane Pickett, a painter of the Nyoongar lands. I am privileged to have been taught the traditions and cultural values of my father’s Jdewat people and also my mother’s Balladong people. These include hunting skills, reading of weather patterns and signs that teach me to respect the seasons and understand their movements, changes and moods. I have learnt to read the songlines that journey through all living things across the entire landscape. I have sat down and watched the dusk infusion (the changing of day into night) and seen the colours of the sky and shadows move or merge into dreams of soft calming rhythms. I will always respect my cultural values, for the dreams do flow strongly through the views of my life.

Every river, every tree, every rock is important, as the Dreaming runs through them connecting all things, including mankind. These are the energy paths of the Dreaming and they are never meant to be broken, never meant to fail. When they are broken by mankind’s negative effects on the land, the energy paths can never be repaired.

I am not yet a culture warrior. The real culture warriors are the elders – those gifted senior men and women fighting to keep the Dreaming alive. In my paintings, and in my own personal Dreaming journey, I try to honour their teachings, their knowledge and their law. Together we must work to heal and rebuild, to be stronger and stronger for the Dreamings of tomorrow – to keep our culture, so that the generations to come can live and sing of their identity.