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Rex Sultan-Jabangardi - Indigenous Artist - Australia


Name: Rex Sultan
Aboriginal Name: Jabangardi
Tribe name: Kaytetye
Born: 20 July 1963, Alice Springs

My grandfather, Sultan Mohammed of Kandahar, was one of the ‘Afghan Cameleers’, who worked on the ‘Overland Telegraph’ across Central Australia. With his own stud camels he established a business at Marree, where my father, Abdul Summit Sultan was born.

My father met and married my mother who was from the Kaytetye Tribe of the Barrow Creek region, located just 300 km north of Alice Springs. They had 3 sons and 3 daughters.

I was born in Alice Springs, and did my schooling in Alice Springs, being taught by the nuns at the Catholic Convent.

I knew I would become an artist when I was young. As a child, I considered Albert Namatjira my idol, and I would sit in the Todd Creek with him and his son Oscar and watch them paint. I was also inspired by my older brother, Reg Sultan, who was an established artist. Reg gave me my first watercolour paints and board. Two of my sisters are also artists. Influenced by the local Arrernte artists, I was 13 when I did my first painting.

My totem is the Rain-Maker, inherited from my grandfather on my mother's side. This features in many of my works, along with symbolism, dreamtime stories and bush tucker. As well as the traditional ‘dot painting’ style, I also enjoyed doing landscapes, and the more modern abstract style that has become popular with many galleries.

My paintings have been brought by tourist from around the world including Europe, USA and Australia.

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