Alan was born at Victoria River Downs Station, NT in 1933 and passed away peacefully in Kununurra surrounded by his family in 2018. Alan worked as a stockman on many stations in the region including Newry, Ivanhoe, The “Elsey”, Maninbelli, Elizabeth Downs, Delamere, Willaroo and as head stockman on Beswick. When the town of Kununurra emerged in 1965, Alan became a machine operator for the Government. His language was Ngarinyman / Ngaliwurru.
Alan was an acclaimed senior artist and one of the leading Elders in the East Kimberley (as is his wife Peggy). He started painting in the early 1980’s and his immense talent is recognised Australia-wide and Internationally.
Alan was fortunate in that he was one of a few selected artists whose attributes were outstanding enough to gain recognition early in the Aboriginal Art movement – along with his wife Peggy he exhibited with and participated in printmaking programmes alongside some of the most successful ochre artists in the East Kimberley region – Jack Britten, Queenie McKenzie and Rover Thomas. His fastidious approach to his work gained him an enviable reputation, commanding high prices for his paintings.
Alan’s limited edition prints of his own corroboree “Bali Bali Balga Joonba” were instantly successful, being collected by Parliament House. He and Peggy were invited to present this corroboree at the ATSIC Art Awards Perth, with dancing headboards woven by Peggy. This now famous corroboree is danced in Kununurra annually and Alan continued travelling with Peggy for cultural events, including ceremony and law for the youngsters up until his passing.
Alan’s style was distinctive, elegant and precise and with every painting, he shared the story depicting his culture, his knowledge of the country and his diverse experience of life which he spent years passing down to the indigenous youth in his extended family.
Selected Solo Exhibitions2014 • "Alan Griffiths", CDU Gallery, Charles Darwin University, Darwin2012• "Traditional Stories", Span Galleries, Melbourne 2013 • "Camel Trek Country",Span Galleries, MelbourneSelected Group Exhibitions2013• "Our Living Land", An Exhibition of Leading Artists from the East Kimberley, Salvo Hotel, Shanghai, China• "Ceremony", Hurstville Museum & Gallery, Hurstville NSW• "Raison d'être", Galerie Karin Carton, Versailles, France• Waltzing Matilda Outback Art Show, Outback Regional Gallery, Winton, Queensland • Muswellbrook Art Prize, Muswellbrook Regional Art Centre2012• "Sharing Difference on Common Ground", The Cannery Arts Centre, Esperance2008• Kimberley Ink and Ochre, Wollongong University2006 • Collectors Editions: Iconic Prints from the Kimberley, Northern Editions, Darwin2005 • Celebrate, Seva Frangos Art, Perth, WA• Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane• Indigenous Art, Australian Embassy, Paris, France2004
• Kimberley Focus, Concert Hall PIAF, Perth
• Newcastle Regional Gallery, Newcastle
• Waringarri Song and Dance Cycle, UWA, Perth2003 • Kimberley Art, Short Street Gallery, Broome• Moon Show, Arthouse Gallery, Sydney2002 • Warrgebarenkoo, Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth• Heyson Prize, Adelaide2001 • Groundwork, Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth• All About Art, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne• New Wave Kimberley Art, Corowa House, Margaret River1999• Kimberley Art Award, Kununurra1995• Fremantle Print Award, PerthSelected Collections• Art Equity Collection• Art Gallery of Queensland• Artbank Australia, Sydney• Bachelor Institute of Advanced Education, Darwin• Broadmeadows Health Service Collection, Melbourne• Cable Beach Resort, Broome• City of Perth Collection• Edith Cowan University Collection, Perth• Kluge Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection Virginia, USA• Musee De Confluence, Lyons, France• National Gallery of Australia Collection• Parliament House Collection, Canberra