The Australia Council for the Arts acknowledges the passing of First Nations dancer, visual artist and respected elder for the Kurtal ceremony, Nyilpirr Ngalyaku Spider Snell.
Receiving accolades for his work, Mr Snell was a cultural leader and founder of Mangkaja Arts, inspiring many with the lessons he taught about the power of culture and his connection to country and family.
His paintings were themed around the Great Sandy Desert, Ngarrangkami (Dreamtime) stories and bush tucker. His work is held in the collections of the National Museum of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Kennesaw State University, Atlanta Georgia and the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.
In 1997, Mr Snell received the Australia Council for the Arts Fellowship Dance Fund and was amongst 50 artists and claimants who collaborated on the famous Ngurrara Canvas prior to the National Native Title tribunal hearings in 1997 and in 1998 danced on the canvas at Parliament House in Canberra.
The Australia Council expresses its deepest condolences to his family, friends and the Fitzroy Valley communities.