Eddie Blitner is from Naiyalrindji country on the mighty Roper River, south east of Katherine in the Northern Territory (down the Roper Highway at Yugal Mangi Nkugurr Community).
Eddie started painting at an early age where he watched and learned from his renowned clan leader grandfathers Fred, Gerry and Donald Blitner and other Elders who taught him to blend ochre, apply paint and to carve. They passed on stories of the work they were doing.
Other members of this clan (Barbil) taught him how to make flint spear heads, craft boomerangs and traditional hunting using the weapons to hunt, fish, find bush-tucker and make bush medicine to survive in the remote bush.
Eddie paints many of his family stories in his paintings of country. He incorporates totems, spirits and ancestors, bush-tucker, animals in traditional x-ray style, men's hunting and fishing and corroboree themes. Eddie takes great care in applying his craft. Often taking weeks to do final touches on his layered stories within the one canvas shot. His paints are a blend of acrylic and flicks of natural ochres and sand on the background to represent Country.
A continuing feature in Eddie's work are 'Mimi's or Mimi Spirits' - these appear in different language and clan cultures in different characters. Eddie paints the guardian Mimi spirits. These are good Mimi. Some Mimi are evil or mischievous and other types of spirit characters.
Today, as a high-profile artist, he frequently works with children and young men teaching them and passing on his skills. Eddie travels widely and is always willing to impart his traditional knowledge and artist skills to others . Not only an artist, he is an accomplished yidaki (didgeridoo) maker and is a fine traditional carver as well. He has devoted many paid and unpaid hours helping underprivileged kids to learn what his Elders passed on to him before their early passing.
Eddie's works are a favourite of mine and he also has a strong following amongst collectors and galleries.