In 2008, the year before Bead 2 was painted, Ildiko Kovacs travelled to the Kimberley to work alongside two desert painters she had long admired – Wakartu Cory Surprise and Jukuja Dolly Snell. Both women are part of the community owned and run Mangkaja Arts Centre at Fitzroy Crossing, and for three weeks Kovacs painted and talked with the women and other Kimberley artists.
Bead 2 with its organic, meandering lines and ochre-like colours loosely resembles paintings from the Kimberley. Kovacs’ imagery however is highly personal. It is not informed by an ancestral connection to desert country but instead by an individual and intuitive iconography. In Bead 2 she has layered the paint directly onto the plywood surface, allowing the grain and rhythm of the ply to speak through the paint. Paintbrushes and sometimes fingers are uses to layer the paint in earthy arabesques. Her titles are brief and ambiguous and can often be read as nouns or verbs.