About Meeyakba Shane Pickett
Ballardung Noongar man, Meeyakba Shane Pickett (1957-2010), always knew he wanted to be an artist. Growing up in Quairading, a small town in the wheatbelt region east of Perth, Pickett’s father encouraged him to work on the family farm, but he insisted on pursuing a career as an artist. With family support, Pickett moved to Perth as a teenager, and despite no formal training, his first exhibition at the age of 19 was an enormous success. Encouraged to formalise his skills, Pickett graduated from the Claremont School of Art in 1983. Subsequent successful exhibitions followed as well as opportunities in theatre set design, poster and graphic design, and public art.
Meeyakba Shane Pickett explored his passion and love for Boodjar (Country) through painting. In his earlier works, he drew inspiration from the Carrolup Native Settlement, colourful landscapes produced by Noongar child artists, and from the works of the late Albert Namatjira. In the last decade of his career, he explored a more abstract approach. His figurative landscapes articulate a balance of expressive and painterly characteristics with segments of clear details, while his later works are stripped back into abstraction, where a sense of place is narrated through the elemental aspects of the land. However, even as his work became more abstract, the sophistication of landscape remained. Shane Pickett remains an artistic inspiration and acknowledged leader in the Noongar community for the way in which his practice evolved, and with it, the appreciation from wider Australia for the work of Aboriginal artists from the south-west of Western Australia.