SITTING among an array of brightly painted canvases and boab nuts, it is fitting that Goonian man and artist Reynold Indich, or Jumbindi as he is also known, blends into his stall at the Broome Courthouse Market. His original painted artworks and souvenirs are a blend of traditional
Kimberley culture, Jumbindiʼs contemporary style, Broomeʼs colourful ambience and Jumbindi himself. “I paint what I see. I paint from the leeyan – the heart of the countrymen, a Kimberley expression,”
“Coming to Broome to live is like a dream come true. “When you come up here you capture the essence of Broome, and being an artist it flows through you and I wanted to capture the Kimberley in my paintings.”
Among Jumbindiʼs best-sellers are painted boab nuts and paintings of the iconic bottle-shaped boab trees, on canvases of varying proportions.“Boabs have been part of survival food, and come the season when they come out are part of contemporary survival, carving and painting them, connecting the land and the language groups through the whole Kimberley,” he said.
Jumbindi said boab nuts were high in protein and the trees had a significant history in the incarceration of Aboriginal warriors in the Kimberley. They were used as prisons, such as the infamous hollowed out boab tree in Derby, and Aboriginal prisoners were also chained to boab trees, which afforded them some food and shade.
Jumbindi was born in Perth and moved to Broome with his wife and daughter five years ago and took up a job in man’s outreach. When the job, which he found fulfilling, was no longer available, he took up painting as a therapeutic pursuit. It’s now become a career. “I totally focussed all my energy on painting. It’s what kept me going, especially from a therapy perspective,” he said. “I really do enjoy it, talking to people from overseas, especially from Lebanon and Egypt because they have old traditions and remedies that go back centuries and we bounce off each other’s knowledge. “it’s more for the love than the money, but it pays the bills.” Knowing stories of the travels of his artworks, such as a painting of dancing brolgas now hanging in a castle in England, also inspires Jumbindi. “Money can’t buy things like that,” he said.