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Welcome to Mossenson Art Foundation

Mossenson Art Foundation was established in 2010
by Dan and Dr Diane Mossenson.

The objects of the Foundation include:

  • preserving, promoting and recording cultural heritage.
  • promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and craft.
  • publishing and supporting scholarly research of art practice in Australia.

The Trustee for the Foundation is Mossenson Art Foundation Ltd (ACN 144 819 916). The Foundation is a public fund with deductible gift recipient status which means gifts to the Mossenson Art Foundation Gift Fund are tax deductible to donors.

Shane Pickett Meeyakba

The paintings of Shane Pickett show the transformations of Nyoongar country, the country of Australia’s SouthWest, in breathtaking and ever-changing images.

Shane Pickett (1957–2010) grew up on a small Aboriginal mission in the Wheatbelt agricultural region east of Perth. From an early age Pickett suffered from ill health, but showed an immediate aptitude for drawing and painting. He held his first exhibition in Perth in 1976, at the age of 19.

Over a three-decade career, Pickett’s work transformed from detailed landscape paintings reminiscent of Albert Namatjira into a groundbreaking and expressive form of gestural abstraction. He developed a new visual language to represent the cornerstones of Nyoongar culture: the pathways of ancestors, traditional healing practices and places, and especially the six Nyoongar seasons. He would sometimes describe his paintings as ‘windows into the Dreaming’, and the strength of his culture is delivered all through his work with brilliant, lyrical intensity. Exploring not only physical healing but also healing of environmental destruction and the wounds of colonisation, his paintings show the persistence of Nyoongar ways of seeing the country.

His Nyoongar name, Meeyakba, or ‘soft light of the moon’, captures the gentle spirit of an artist who set a beacon for those who follow him. He is remembered as the preeminent Nyoongar artist of his time and one of the great painters of the Western Australian landscape.

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"...as we look at works such as Through the Window of Dreaming or Travel Lines Across the Hunting Grounds and Waterways, we feel few other artists could have so powerfully articulated a modern, often painful visions withing the context of a vital tradition as Pickett. History is one thing, memory another."

- Will Yeoman, Weekend West

"In one sense, Pickett's late painting was the very definition of abstract art, working from the superficial, visible elements of the landscape towards more elemental ones ( the sky, waterholes, medicine grounds, the moon)."

- Nick Tapper, Weekend West

NGARRA the texta drawings

This publication highlights the mesmerising collection of texta drawings by one of remote Australia's most significant artists.

Ngarra (c. 1920 - 2008) grew up in the bush under the tutelage of his grandparents, displaced on their own land by the incursions of the cattle industry. After a long career as cattleman, he turned to art in 1994; Ngarra developed an electrifying style of painting and drawing, producing works in ochre, acrylic and felt-tipped marker.

Ngarra the texta drawings is the first monograph on the artist's work and the first publication by Mossenson Art Foundation. A further book on Ngarra's paintings is proposed.

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"What a portrait of the artist emerges from these images! Ngarra is by turns prophet, witness, student of nature and conceptualist. In their beguiling way, Shaw’s memoir sketch and catalogue notes, buttressed by his other writings and the supporting essays in these pages and elsewhere by Skerritt, Sprague and the contributor of the book’s introduction, Nick Tapper, combine to produce a matchless account of a senior traditional Aboriginal man."

- Nicolas Rothwell, The Australian

"A rewarding read, Ngarra the texta drawings tells a story of an individual who was determined to carve a significant and unique life out of a period of volatile change for Indigenous Australians. Ngarra’s success resulted in an opening of new worlds and audiences to him, as he commented to Shaw about the vast difference between the “big city exhibitions” where “the really proper sensible people want to know all about really bush blackfella like a me” and his life as a 'lonely bush blackfella'."

- Lucy Stranger, Artist Profile