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Ernabella Arts

2013 USA

‘NYINNGA’ The Cold Time of the Year


‘Nganampa ngurangka nganana art centre tjuta kanyini APY ngka munu nganana rawa pitjapai work palyantjikitja art centre kuta. Panya Ernabella Arts iriti mulapa tjataringu 1948 pangka munu kuwari palurutu ngaranyi ka arts centre nyangangka nganana work wiru tjuta palyani Tjukurpatjara munu nganana Kunpu Kanyini work wiru tjutjara nyarantjaku panya iritinguru ngarantja munu kuwari kulu nganana kunpu kanyini tjitji malatja tjuta ku kulu.’ ‘In our country, the APY Lands, we have seven art centres. Everyday we come to work in the art centre. Ernabella Arts started in 1948 and it’s still going. We own our art centre. We paint tjukurpa –  our law and culture. We make strong, beautiful work and it will always be there. Our stories are from a long time ago and they will live in the future with our children. When they grow up they will be working here. They will be the owners of our art centre and keeping our culture strong.’

Artist - Milyika Carroll

Cover image: Pepai Jangal Carroll ‘Walungurru’ 71 x 47 inches, acrylic on canvas, Ernabella Arts #432-12 Right: Tjunkaya Tapapya (detail) ‘Kungkarangkalpa’ 71 x 47 inches, acrylic on canvas, Ernabella Arts #403-12


NYINNGA - The Cold Time of the Year This exhibition showcases the growth and talent of Australia’s oldest and continuously operating Indigenous desert art center, Ernabella Arts. Produced during a Southern Hemisphere Winter for this Northern Hemisphere Winter exhibit, Nyinnga in Pitjantjatjara, the language of the artists, means the cold time of the year. Across the vast desert regions of these Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands of Northern South Australia, cool nights give way to shorter days where tempertures offer relief in an otherwise harsh climate. It is a time of great abundance in the desert as native flowers blossom and fauna abound. As we take a closer look at the paintings created for this exhibition it is clearly evident this sense of nature flourishing has made its way onto the canvases. Vibrant colors explode across the surface, revealing highly detailed dotting and abstract linear patterning. Yet hidden within this visual feast lies the rich world of the tjukurpa or dreaming - the all important cultural heartbeat of all Indigenous Australians. Established in 1948, Ernabella Artists have achieved wide-spread recognition for their weavings, batiks, paintings and prints, ceramics, woodcarvings and hand-woven spinifex baskets and sculptures. During the early days of Ernabella Arts, the artists worked predominantly with wool, spinning and weaving it, and making hand-pulled floor rugs. Though Ernabella artists have dabbled in painting since the 1980s, spurred in part by its prevalence in other Central and Western Desert communities, it has only been in the last six years that they have really taken to the medium in earnest. This has coincided with a remarkable resurgence in acrylic on canvas painting seen across the broader region of the APY Lands. With its embrace has come a newfound emphasis on artworks which relate to tjukurrpa (dreaming), all of which tell significant stories.


Foremost among this vanguard of Ernabella painters is Niningka Lewis, whose luminescent canvases combine desert iconography with rich figurative detail to recollect ara irititja, the ‘old days’ of the Ernabella mission. Her work is often compared to that of the late Ian Abdulla, its nostalgic themes importantly remind the Anangu people of the old way of life - a time before westernized living when life revolved around the land, ceremony and law. Highly commended for her painting in last year’s National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Lewis’s work has recently been collected by major Australian Institutions including the Art Gallery of South Australia. The work of fellow artists Tjunkaya Tapaya and Tjariya Stanley often depict the iconic Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters Dreaming), revealed through the rich dotting found in desert art. Both artists are represented in major Australian State collections. Tjunkaya has a career stretching over five decades and in many ways mirrors the art center’s diverse exploration of media over their sixty-five year history. The women are now joined by several male artists. Current chair of Ernabella Arts, Pepai Jangala Carroll, is ranked among the centre’s most exciting artists for his optically charged, monochromatic fields on black. And then there’s the larger-than-life Dickie Minyintiri, reputedly in his nineties, who gets about Ernabella in a golf buggy attended by a clamour of dogs, and whose work is revered for its depth of ceremonial knowledge and artistic genius. Harvey Art Projects USA gratefully acknowledges the support of Ruth McMillian & Julian Green, Managers of Ernabella Arts, and the participiating artists in mounting this first time USA exhibition.


Left: Renita Stanley ‘Malilanya’ 59 x 39 inches, acrylic on canvas Ernabella Arts #667-12


Left: Alison Munti Riley ‘Wati Ngintaka’ 39 x 39 inches, acrylic on canvas, Ernabella Arts #663-12


Right: Panjiti Lionel ‘Malara’ 39 x 39 inches, acrylic on canvas, Ernabella Arts #654-12


Left: Niningka Lewis ‘Camel-la’ 39 x 39 inches, acrylic on canvas, Ernabella Arts #633-12


Right: Carlene Thompson ‘Ngayuku, Ngura’ 39 x 39 inches, acrylic on canvas, Ernabella Arts #603-12


Left: Tjariya Stanley ‘Minyma Kutjara’ 39 x 39 inches, acrylic on canvas, Ernabella Arts #563-12


Right: Tjunkaya Tapaya ‘Kungukarangkalpa (Seven Sisters) 39 x 39 inches, acrylic on canvas, Ernabella Arts #567-12


Renita Stanley Tjariya (Nungalka) Stanley Yurpiya Lionel Pantjiti Lionel Carlene Thompson Yjunkaya Tapaya Niningka Mankuri Lewis Alison Muniti Riley Nyinguta Edwards Dickie Minyintiri Pepai Jangala Carroll

Left: Dickie Minyintiri, ‘Wuti ku Inma Tjukurpa’ 71 x 47 inches, acrylic on canvas Ernabella Arts #572-12 Back cover: L-R artists Pantjiti Lionel, Tjariya Stanley & Niningka Lewis


‘NYINNGA’ The Cold Time of the Year 15 Feb - 30 March 2013 Sun Valley USA Gallery located 391 1st Avenue North Ketchum, ID 83340 USA info@harveyartprojects.com (208) 309-8676

HarveyArtProjects.com Copyright Ernabella Arts & Harvey Art Projects USA 2013

Ernabella Artists of South Australia  

Nyinnga: The Cold Time of Year USA exhibit Feb 15- March 20 2013

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