"The extraordinary Mrs Gabori"
Quentin Sprague, The Monthly, March 2015:
By any measure, Mrs Gabori’s rise was stellar. When the Kaiadilt artist began painting in 2005 she was aged in her early 80s, already a long-term resident in her community’s old people’s home. Her big, brashly colourful and seemingly abstract renderings of her traditional country almost immediately gained a foothold in a then-booming market. Within months of picking up a brush on her adopted home of Mornington Island – the largest of a scatter known as the Wellesley islands in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria, in Queensland – she had held her first solo exhibition. Five years later she was widely recognised as one of Australia’s most collectable artists.
“I think it’s a giant mystery, almost a religious mystery, what happened with [Mrs Gabori],” Nicholas Evans put it as our conversation drew to a close. “If you were to ask me on my deathbed, ‘What are the three or four things in your life that totally baffled you and bowled you over?’ that would be one of them … How is it that someone is just not who you thought they were, that they’ve got these incredible talents?”