Butcher Cherel | Artist Profile

Details of Butcher Cherel


Butcher Cherel Janangoo was born around 1920 at Jalnaganjoowa. This is near the original homestead on one of the longest established cattle stations in the Kimberley, Fossil Downs. He now lives in Fitzroy Crossing.

His mother was a Kija woman and his father was Gooniyandi. He speaks both languages as well as Walmajarri and also Bunuba. Both of his parents worked on the station in and around the homestead and he recalls being taken out bush for walkabout at law time. With the two of them working on the station, it follows that Butcher also spent most of his working life on Fossil Downs. As a stockman he worked cattle, droving from Fitzroy Crossing to Derby and Broome. This time was hard as he remembers, "real hard".

He began painting relatively late in life as did many of his peers. His paintings document natural phenomena and are a metaphorical reference to both his country, Imanara, and his life experiences. As he stated, "with my eyes, my heart and with my brain I am thinking. When I go to sleep nightime, I might talk to myself ' ah, I might do (paint) that one tomorrow', not dreaming ; I think what to do next."

He is well represented nationally and in many private collections around the world. He is considered to be one of Australia's leading contemporary artists.

Butcher is a key elder of the Gooniyandi language group and has been instumental in the retention of law and ceremony at Muludja Community. He sees Aboriginal law and language as fundamentally important and feels uneasy that young people today do not have this tradition to refer to as they have not been educated as he was.


2009 Janangoo Buthcher Cherel, Aboriginal & Pacific Art, Sydney, NSW
2008 Janangoo Buthcher Cherel, Raft Artspace, Darwin, NT
2008 Imanarra: Gooniyandi Gooniyandi, Aboriginal & Pacific Art, Sydney, NSW
2008 Yanoongoo (New/Fresh), Brigitte braun Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2006 Ngarrangkarni (Long Ago), Raft Artspace, Darwin, NT
2006 Thinking Feeling Painting, Aboriginal & Pacific Art, Sydney, NSW
2005 Imanana, Artplace, Perth, WA
2004 Imanara Country, Aboriginal & Pacific Art, Sydney, NSW
2004 Thaanooyoo, Aboriginal Pacific Art, Sydney, NSW
2004 Maiyalngu, Raft Artspace, Darwin, NT
2003 Imanara Country, Aboriginal and Pacific Art, Sydney, NSW
2002 Imanara, Raft Artspace, Darwin, NT
2001 Janangoo-Imananara-Gooniyandi, Artplace, Perth, WA
2000 Imanara Country, Artplace, Perth, WA
1999 Janangoo Butcher Cherel, Aboriginal and Pacific Arts Gallery, Sydney, NSW
1999 Imanara : Big Country, Festival of Perth Exhibition, Artsplace Gallery, Perth, WA
1998 Gamba Malami Dagoola, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne, VIC
1997 Joonany garra mi yoodila "I Put it Good Way" Artplace, Perth, WA
1996 Durack Gallery, Broome, WA
1993 Parntapi Bilgna, Artplace Gallery, Perth, WA (with Peter Skipper)
1992 Butcher Cherel Janangoo Gooniyandi Kija, Birukmarri Gallery, Fremantle, WA

2008 Custodians: Country and Culture, Alison kelly Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2008 Custodians: Country and Culture, Alison kelly Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2007 Cross Currents: Focus on Australian Contemporary Art, MCA, Sydney, NSW
2006 The Clemenger Contemporary Art Award, NGV, Melbourne, VIC
2006 Impressions 2006. LE prints from leading contemporary artists, APW Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2006 Across the Continent. Prints by indigenous Australian Artists, APW Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2005 Too Much Good Work,Raft Artspace, Darwin, NT
2004 Impressions 2004. LE prints from leading contemporary artists, APW Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2004 This is Still My Country... 10 Years on Perth International Arts Festival, Artplace Perth, WA
2003 Jumu, Jiwari and Wirrkuja, Cullity Gallery UWA Perth, WA
2002 The 16th Asian International Art Exhibition, Guanghou Museuam of Art, China
2001 Ngurra Canvas, National Gallery of Australia
2001 Mangkaja Arts, Ten Years On, Tandanya Adelaide, SA
2001 10 year Anniversary Show, - Butcher Cherel, Tommy May, John Nargoodah, Mervyn Street, APW Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2000 Imanara Series / Kerry Stokes Collection, Art Gallery of WA, Perth, WA
2000 Proof Positive, Limited edition Prints by Leading Australian Artists, APW Melbourne, VIC
1999 Story Boards Ceramic Tiles fom the Kimberley, Fremantle Art Centre, WA
1998 Mangkaja, Rebecca Hossac Gallery, London
1996-97 Heritage Commission Art Award, Old Parliament House Canberra, ACT
1996 Mangkaja APW, Tandanya Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide, SA
1995 Fremantle Print Award, Fremantle ArtsCentre, WA
1995 Prints from the APW Collection, APW Archival Prints, APW Melbourne, VIC
1995 Mangkaja Old Mangkaja New prints, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne, VIC
1994 Ngajakura Ngurra Minyarti, this is my country, Festival of Perth Exhibtion/Artplace Gallery, Perth, WA
1993 Images of Power ; Aboriginal Art from the Kimberley, National Gallery of Victoria, VIC
1993-97 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.(Selected to hang) Museum and Gallery of Northern Territory, Darwin, NT

2005 50 of Australia's most collectable artists. Australian Art Collector Magazine Issue 31 Jan/March
2003 Martuarra and Jila, Jumu, Jiwart and Wirrkuja. Exhibition Catalougue Cullity Gallery UWA Perth / Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
2001 People in Landscape. Contemporary Audstralian Prints. Exhibition Catalogue. University of Melbourne
2001 Australia. 16th Asian International Art Exhibition. Exhibition Catalogue. Australain Print Workshop Inc.
2000 Oxford Companion to Aboriginal Art, Oxford University Press & ANU
1999 Imanara : Big Country. Festival of Perth Exhibition Artplace Gallery, Perth / Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
1999 Story Boards . Ceramic Tiles from the Kimberley. Fremantle Art Centre / Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
1995 Old Mangkaja. New Prints. APW Melbourne/Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
1994 Ngajakura Ngurrara Minyarti: This is My Country, Exhibition catalogue
1993 Janangoo Butcher Cherel. Birukmarri Gallery, Fremantle/ Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency

2005 Recognized as one of West Australia's State Living Treasures
1993 Finalist RAKA Award, Melbourne University

National Gallery of Victoria
Holmes A Court Collection
Artbank, Sydney
University of WA
Aboriginal Affairs Department
Kerry Stokes Collection
Art Gallery Of WA
Curtin University WA
The Parliament House Collection

Artworks of Butcher Cherel