Design / Life

TJYLLYUNGOO/Lance Chadd is a Bibbulmun Nyoongar/Budimia Yamatji man, born in the south-west of WA. His tribal name Tjyllyungoo – means Elder, wisdom, law – given by his father Norman Chadd.

AGWA’s WA Journey gallery shares the story of WA art from the 1920s to today. It’s the perfect introduction to WA Now, showcasing a leading WA practising artist.

Ibelongyoubelongwebelong presents a series of work that reflects the artist’s Aboriginal spirituality and cultural research on connection to country, in particular the Boorongurup (Porongorup Ranges), the oldest granite formation on Earth. Boorongurup is an important place for Bibbulmun Peoples and the most important Winartj sacred place on Country.

TJYLLYUNGOO/Lance’s work emphasises Aboriginal spirituality with its deep connection and unity of land, people, animals and plants. His work offers an easy access to reflect on how each of us belong and connect to all that is around us.

“My work is about ‘connection’ and speaks of our inseparable unity with our land, our Boodjah, our Mother and all that come from her and through her. My figurative elements are not to represent individuals but to reflect and respect, the eternal presence of those who have walked this land before us including our ancestors who carried fire, skins and the seeds of our culture.

“I held my first exhibition in 1975. It seems the further I go forward in new expressions, the further I reach back in my cultural heritage. Teaching art has reinforced for me that the landscape and our connection to it is a great unifier of people. It gives us a universal language that speaks to our sense of belonging and our humanity while enhancing our observations and awareness of our world.”

The artists practice now includes three dimensional large scale public art commissions, most recently, ‘WIRIN’ a 9 metre tall signature sculpture for Yagan Square, CBD Perth. WIRIN (spirit) represents the eternal sacred force of creative power that unites and connects all life of Boodjah. TJYLLYUNGOO/Lance first painted WIRIN’s image on a wall of a derelict old house his family had to live in 40 years ago. He states “that this spirit embodies my sense of aboriginal spirituality and strength” and has featured in his paintings ever since.

“Long after I am gone, he will continue to offer his public audience an interactive visceral experience of our inherent cultural values and ancient cultural lore. A physical manifestation of our cultural truth – Connection is everything.”

AGWA Curator of Indigenous Australian and First Nations Arts, Carly Lane said, “I am excited to be showing the work of TJYLLYUNGOO/Lance Chadd, a senior Noongar artist. While his work is an inward exploration of his cultural and spiritual connection to Country, its impact is far greater. Tjyllyungoo offers us a way forward, or if you like an opportunity, for a greater kind of knowing, and connecting, to those places we each hold dear. His works of art comprise a gentleness and an ethereal quality that is hard to replicate. All the works in Ibelongyoubelongwebelong bring the intangible energy and spirit of Country into full view.”

2-3pm, Saturday 13 July | FREE
Hear from artist TJYLLYUNGOO/Lance Chadd for an insight into his artistic practice and his WA Now display.

TJYLLYUNGOO/Lance Chadd is the next featured artist in the Art Gallery of WA’s WA Now series.


4 May – 5 August 2019 | FREE