A RARE, INTUITIVE TALENT FOR PAINTING.
For millennia without written language hence more reliant on visual communication, Australian Aboriginals own a powerful, deeply spiritual gift that when translated from rocks and caves to canvases, has resulted in a contemporary art movement of international significance and acclaim.
CREATED OFTEN WHILE SINGING A SACRED SONG.
These artworks are like nothing you’ve ever seen and at first can appear somewhat abstract and naïve and to a degree they are; but in fact they are physical aerial landscapes and metaphysical maps, stories of the Jukurrpa, the Dreaming.
They attain an innate balance, rhythm, movement and composition pulled together with interacting symbols, dots, lines and colours. There’s a wide range of styles and prices, but as with most art, what sells a painting is that strong connection, the wow factor; the look of it on your wall.
THE ANCIENT STORIES ARE ONCE AGAIN ALIVE.
Aboriginal Australians expressed their strong custodial ties with the land in rock drawings and body paintings. Art was and remains a significant and secret part of their rituals and ceremonies. The Jukurrpa is a complex, holistic belief system and way of life embracing everything spiritual, moral, social, zoological, astronomical and sacred with the land.
The younger generation is reconnecting and the oldest continuous culture on the planet survives helped by sharing its stories and selling its art.
Josephine is the daughter of respected custodian of traditional medical knowledge, Lydia Burak. She prepares her own pwoja (comb, painting tool) with her subject often significant Kulama Ceremony.
As the founding member and drummer in the famous Warumpi Band, Gordon has travelled the world and toured Europe. He is a respected elder member of the community and used to be Land Council representative for the Western Area. As well as a musician he is a well known artist and woodcarver.
DEBBIA NAPALJARRI BROWN
Debbie’s grandmother, Margaret Napangardi Brown, taught her to paint. Her grandfather is the renowned Pintupi artist Pegleg Tjampitjinpa who was born c.1920 and grew up in the vicinity of Wilkinkarra, living a traditional life. Debbie would watch her grandmother and grandfather paint and listen to her Grandmother’s Jukurrpa stories which she now paints.
Keturah’s works are held in collections including Collection Sordello Missana, France; Lady Cilento Childrens Hospital Art Collection, Brisbane, Australia and Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra, Australia.
NINA (LUDWINA) PURUNTATAMERI
In 1993 Nina won the New Medium award at the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in Darwin. She is represented in many Australian and International private and public collections.
VALERIE NAPANGARDI MARSHALL
To depict her traditional Jukurrpa, Valerie uses traditional iconography, while developing a modern individualistic style. When Valerie is not working locally or painting she enjoys hunting with her family.
Daphne was born in 1979 and is one of the youngest artists at Ikuntji. She has an eye for detail and paints meticulous translations of the Haasts Bluff landscape, including flora and fauna. Her work becomes particuarly vibrant after the rains when the newly emerged wild flowers dominate her paintings.
AGNES NAMPIJINPA FRY
Agnes has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation since 2006. She paints her father’s Jukurrpa stories, Dreamings that relate directly to her land, its features and animals. These stories were passed down to her by her father and her grandfather and their fathers for millennia. When Agnes is not painting she likes to go hunting for bush tucker, particularly Bush Currants.
From 2009-2013 Francesca served as President of Munupi Art. She studied in Arts and Crafts with Batchelor College, specialising in decorated canvas paintings and gouaches on paper.
Maluya Jugadai (Molly) was instrumental in the establishement of Ikuntji Art Centre in 1992. She initially painted the story of the “Napaltjarri Children (or Sisters)” who came in space ships to earth thousands of years ago. They represent the first people on earth. She also painted the story of the massive saltlake, Kaarkurutintya (Lake MacDonald), which is the sacred country of Narputta. Molly passed away in May 2011.
Herman only started painting at Ikuntji Artists in 2009, and paints an enthusiastic version of White Crow story. Herman was given permission by his Father, Bill Tjapaltjarri Whiskey to paint his own story of the White Crow.
Benisa is the grand-daughter of renowned Ikuntji artist Narputta Nangala Jugadai. She initially painted bush flowers and bush tucker, but now paints a more contemporary style, depicting various types of rock formations which are an integral part of the Haasts Bluff landscape.
SABRINA NAPANGARDI GRANITES
Sabrina is the grand-daughter of Paddy Japaljarri Sims (Dec.) and Bessie Nakamarra Sims, two of the founding artists of Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation. She paints the Dreaming stories passed to her from both including Mina Mina Jukurrpa (Mina Mina Dreaming); Karntakurlangu Jukurrpa (Women’s Dreaming); and Ngalyipi Jukurrpa (Snake Vine Dreaming).
Paulina is the chairperson of the Munupi Arts and Crafts Centre. She is committed to preserving culture, language, art and songs.
EUNICE NAPANANGKA JACK
Eunice has works in collections including Bailleau Myer, de Young Museum, San Francisco, USA; Gabrielle Pizzi Collection, VIC, Australia; Museum And Art Gallery of Northern Territory, NT, Australia; National Gallery of Victoria, VIC, Australia; Thomas Vroom-Sammlung, Amsterdam, NL; Red Dot Gallery, Singapore and Ganter Myer Collection, Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco, USA.
Kathleen is the daughter of renowned artist Alice Nampitjinpa Dixon. Lindsay Dixon was her father and his country was west of Nyrripi, Ipa (Snake Dreaming). Kathleen’s grandmother was Tatuli Nangala and she inherited the Jukurrpa from her. The Jukurrpa is about women sitting down near Kintore and hunting in that area. Sometimes Kathleen also paints her mother’s country of Talaalpi.
ALFREDA NUNGARRAYI MARTIN
Alfreda comes from a well-established family of artists: her mother is Helen Nampijinpa Robertson, her grandfather is Shorty Jangala Robertson, and her step-father is Paddy Japaljarri Stewart — all well-known artists both in Australia and overseas. Alfreda likes to paint her father’s dreaming, Yurrampi Jukurrpa (Honey Ant Dreaming) and her grandfather’s dreaming, Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming).
SUSAN WANJI WANJI
2013 Telstra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award finalist, Susan is an exceptional weaver and Tunga (bark basket) craftsperson who has developed a unique style influenced by Tiwi and Arnhem Land cultures.
Serianne is one of the emerging Ikuntji artists that shows much talent for her age. The daughter of Gordon Butcher, a founding member of Warumpi Band and Alison Napurrula Multa, an already established Ikuntji Artist. Her Jukurrpa is that of ‘Bush Banana’ and Brown’s Bore (Kungkayunti).
EMILY NAMPIJINPA HUDSON
Emily has been painting with the Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation since 2001. When she was young she used to watch her elder sister paint. She paints her grandfather’s Jukurrpa stories, Yarungkanyi Jukurrpa (Mt Doreen Dreaming) and her father’s dreaming, Warlukurlangu Jukurrpa (Fire Dreaming)
Susie’s father is a Walpiri man and it is from him that she gets her Waterlilly Dreaming. In the last year Susie has been experimenting in different syles of painting seeds blowing in the wind, they are integrally beautiful works, done in both pastel and bright colours. Susie works at the aged care centre. After she has attended to the needs of the older artists she finds time to work on her own canvas.
Joseph has artworks in collections including Araluen Collection, Alice Springs, NT, Austral; Art Gallery Of New South Wales, NSW, Australia; Collection Sordello Missana, France and Janet Homes A Court Collection, Perth, WA, Australia.
Alison grew up in Pirlangimpi Community on Melville Island. Her grandfather, Justin Puruntatameri (dec), is a senior law man.
Zakius is the youngest son of renowned Ikuntji artists, the late Gideon Tjururrula Jack and Eunice Napanangka Jack (who is currently Ikuntji’s most in demand female artist). His traditionally simple but effective depictions of Lake Mackay have attracted attention from visitors to the art centre and commerical galleries alike.
ATHENA NANGALA GRANITES
Athena learnt to paint by watching her mother, sisters and grandmother. Athena uses an unrestricted palette to develop a modern interpretation of her traditional culture.
ELSIE NAPANANGKA GRANITES
Elsie paints various Dreaming stories but the one she has consistently painted since 2007 is her father’s dreaming, Jayinki Jukurrpa. Although this Jukurrpa is often associated with men’s ceremonial activity in that country it is also related to sites where women travelled to collect bush foods. Janyinki is Elsie’s traditional country. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions of Aboriginal Art.
LESTON JAPALJARRI SPENCER
Leston is a respected emerging artist with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation who paints his parents’ Jukurrpa.
Anmanari was born in 1938 and is a very powerful law woman commanding great respect within her community. She has been a member of the Ikuntji Art Centre for many years and is highly regarded for her painting skills. Her Jukurrpa is the mulpu, or bush mushroom. Predominant themes in Anmanari’s works are the Mulpu Jukurrpa and the dancing women at Kungka Yunti, located south of Haasts Bluff.
PATRICK JAPANGARDI WILLIAMS
Patrick has established himself with a reputation at Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation as an artist with incredible natural talent and broad appeal.
Under the direction of her grandfather, Justin Puruntatameri and Florence (Justin’s eldest daughter), Karina learned what she could correctly portray as defined by her Tiwi family ties. She has since progressed from depicting Jarrikalani and Takaringa, to portraying the various incarnations of the night sky as it appears over the Tiwi Islands.
WALTER JANGALA BROWN
Walter is an emerging artist with great ambitions of establishing a local and international reputation. His distinctive style is striking a chord amongst art-lovers and he is well on his way to achieving his goal.
Winifred was schooled in Darwin at Kormilda College and has been painting at the Munupi Art Centre since 2004.