Dancing Winds

Yondee Shane Hansen

Artwork Year



95 x 45 cm


acrylic on canvas


This painting tells the story of how the Aboriginal people used the winds along the coastal plains to send smoke signals from tribe to tribe.

Noongar artist Yondee Shane Hansen was born in the south-west of Western Australia in 1964, at Dumbleyung, 270 km south of Perth. Yondee was taught about hunting and shown sand drawings by his father. He would travel and visit his aunties on the Swan River and would collect paper bark to help them in their art work. It was here that he started to learn about art from his older relatives who are known for their painting on paper- bark.

Yondee Shane Hanson remembers:

“Later on, when we moved to the outskirts of Perth, to Swan View, we would walk down to the river, and light fires along the side of the river, and collect paper bark. Art was all around me – in the paddocks when the flowers came, in the fields and the crops, along the rivers and around the rocks.”

Talking about his art practice today, Yondee Shane Hansen says: “I make sand paintings, collecting sand from the creeks. You have to wash it to get the salt out, but the sand is different out of the creeks, its smoother. When you have washed it a few times and sieved it, then mixed it with paint, it’s good to use. When I make sand paintings using black and white, it gives that simple strong message.”

An experienced and accomplished artist, Yondee Shane Hansen has developed ways of working with sand and ochres to depict the stories and legends of his people. He also paints detailed figurative works based on mission life, hunting and animals. His works are abstract in their presentation but narrative in their content. As a child, Yondee learnt his grandfather’s ground paintings and wishes to continue these and feels the translation of them to sand paintings does them justice and brings them to new audiences. The artist’s bush name, Yondee, means Black Goanna.

Yondee Shane Hansen has painted with the Campfire group of Aboriginal artists in Brisbane as well as exhibiting his work in galleries in Western Australia, NSW, Queensland and overseas (including USA, the Czech Republic and Ireland).

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