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SPINIFEX ARTS PROJECT

Tjuntjuntjara Nguratja | Tjuntjuntjara is home usa 2014


Front Cover: Men’s Collaborative - Roy Underwood, Simon Hogan, Ned Grant, Fred Grant, Lennard Walker, Lawrence Pennington, Winmati Roberts and Harry Brown, Pukara, acrylic on linen, 78 x 92� (197 x 233 cm), Catalog #13149 This page: Spinifex women artists painting in Tjuntjuntjara country Photo: Louise Allerton


Spinifex Arts Projecttu mulapa nganampa tjantungku. Ngananampa walka ngananmpa ngura kutupa tjuta malaku mantjintjaku alpamillinu. Panya paluru worka wiru nganampa munu Tjukurpa kunpu kanyini munu Anangu tjuta pika wiya nyinanyi munula timari muntjilpai. Nganana Art Centreku kunpu pulkaringantjaku kala tjitji tjutangku nintiringkula ngananalanguru kala nganampa Tjukurpa rawa kanyilpai. The Spinifex Arts Project truly belongs to us. Painting helped us get our land back. It’s good work for keeping our culture strong, our people healthy and earning some money. All of us must grow the Art Centre up to be strong so the young people can learn from us and keep our Tjukurpa (stories) going. Lennard Walker Chairperson, Spinifex Arts Project 2013


Tjuntjuntjara Nguratja : Tjuntjuntjara is Home A year after ending his wilderness isolation, “old man” Rictor explained his relationship to the land and its sacred law to a reporter from the Sydney Morning Herald. “It was good out there. Good country. Always water out there . . . I looked after my country.” Without its people, the land was left “an orphan,” roaming and lost “without parents to go to.” With resettlement at Tjuntjunjara and the resumption of custodial rituals, the land had recovered its caretakers, and the caretakers their life world. - Greg Castillo (Associate Professor at UC Berkeley) This exhibition by Spinifex Arts Project brings rich ancestral histories of the Spinifex people and their land through a collection of outstanding large format paintings from the remote community of Tjuntjuntjara. The Spinifex people, or Pila Nguru people, are a discrete Indigenous Australian people, whose traditional lands are situated in the Great Victoria Desert region of Western Australia, adjoining the border with South Australia, to the north of the Nullarbor Plain. They maintain to a large degree their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle within the lands, over which their claims to Native Title with its associated rights and interests were recognized in a landmark Australian Federal Court decision. Pila Nguru translates as ‘people from the area between the sandhills’. Their ‘common’ name comes from the abundance of spinifex bushes, which are a feature of this remote desert region. In the 1950s the British and Australian governments chose the Maralinga area for British nuclear weapons testing despite the knowledge there were tribal people living in the area. During this time, that coincided with a severe drought, the Spinifex people temporarily left the northern part of their traditional country. They moved southwest into Cundeelee Mission 200 kilometers east of Kalgoorlie reconnecting with family groups dispersed by events to the east.


Background image: TJARUWA WOODS, Tilkamata (detail) acrylic on linen, 48 x 71” (122 x 180 cm) Catalog #13088

“A thundering shudder Mr. Rictor had felt while in the wilderness was that of a nuclear weapons test. He had hidden by digging a hole, climbing in, and covering himself with sand for protection.” - Greg Castillo The Spinifex people were the first group in Australia to be granted exclusive Native Title rights over a large expanse of land in accordance with Section 87 (agreement) of the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993. The Native Title claim was made by twenty-one families constituting the current Spinifex people. Some Spinifex had begun returning to their land in the early 1980s. The Spinifex people now live in the two communities of Tjuntjuntjara and Ilkurlka and travel regularly through their lands to other communities in the Maralinga, Pitjantjatjara and Ngaanyatjarra lands. The Spinifex Arts Project began in 1997 to help document the country within the Spinifex Native Title claim area. Two large Native Title paintings, the ‘Men’s Collaborative’ and the ‘Women’s Collaborative’, depict the entire Spinifex area - one from the Mens’ perspective and the other from the Womens’ perspective; the paintings show the claimants’ birthplaces and associated areas of ownership. The original purpose was to provide a way for visually expressing land ownership. A wide cross section of Spinifex people painted initially, although it was the older generation who tended to embrace the project as a way of expressing traditional Tjukurpa (story). Both Native Title paintings were formally included in the preamble to the Native Title agreement ratified before the Australian Federal Court in November 2000. Celebrating the success of the land claim process the Spinifex People bequeathed ten major paintings to the People of Western Australia to be housed at the Western Australian Museum. Spinifex Arts Project artists were selected for the WA Indigenous Awards two years running in 2008 and 2009. These award selections significantly raised the profile and collectability of the Spinifex artists. Artworks were acquired by serious art collectors and institutions such as the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of SA, Museum WA and the Seattle Museum, USA. Harvey Art Projects USA gratefully acknowledges Spinifex Arts Project in this exclusive USA exhibition. Special thanks to Spinifex Arts Center Manager, Amanda Dent.


WOMEN’S COLLABORATIVE - CARLENE WEST, ESTELLE HOGAN, ANNE HOGAN, YARANGKA THOMAS, KATHLEEN DONNEGAN, TJARUWA WOODS and DEBBIE HANSEN, Nganampa Ngura, acrylic on canvas, 91 x 80” (231 x 202 cm), Catalog #13004


FRED GRANT, Pirrilyii (detail), acrylic on Belgian linen, 53.5 x 43� (136 X 109 cm), Catalog #c1008


ESTELLE HOGAN, Nyirpantja (detail), acrylic on linen, 54 x 32� (137 X 82 cm), Catalog #c298


KATHLEEN DONNEGAN, Unpun (detail), acrylic on linen, 47 x 38” (119 X 96 cm), Catalog #c930


TJARUWA (ANGELINA) WOODS, Ikaritjara (detail), acrylic on linen, 55 x 53.5� (139 x 136 cm), Catalog #c1012


BYRON BROOKS & TJARUWA WOODS, Tjuntala (detail), acrylic on linen, 54 x 43� (137 x 110 cm), Catalog #c299


ROY UNDERWOOD, Pukara (detail), acrylic on canvas, 63 x 53� (160 x 135 cm), Catalog #c1018


NED GRANT, Mulpula (detail), acrylic on linen, 43.5 x 36� (110.5 x 90.5 cm), Catalog #12018


LAWRENCE PENNINGTON, Waputi (detail), acrylic on linen, 54 x 43� (137 x 108.5 cm), Catalog #c1024


MARK ANDERSON, Karnu (detail), acrylic on canvas, 36 x 66� (91 x 167 cm), Catalog #c911


SIMON HOGAN, Tjining (detail), acrylic on linen, 43 x 36� (110 x 91 cm), Catalog #13133


FRED GRANT, llpili (detail), acrylic on linen, 43 x 36� (110 x 90.5 cm), Catalog #13101


Gerome Anderson Mark Anderson Byron Brooks Harry Brown Kathleen Donnegan Fred Grant Ned Grant Anne Hogan Estelle Hogan Simon Hogan Debbie Hansen Lawrence Pennington Myrtle Pennington Winmati Roberts Ngalpingka Simms Yarangka Thomas Roy Underwood Lennard Walker Carlene West Tjaruwa (Angelina) Woods

ROY UNDERWOOD, Mulaya, acrylic on canvas, 78 x 68� (197 x 173 cm), Catalog #C752


On view 1 July - 5 Aug 2014 Sun Valley, USA 391 First Avenue North Ketchum, ID 83340 USA info@harveyartprojects.com | Phone (208) 309-8676 Back Cover: Yarangka Thomas working on the Women’s Collaborative painting, Nganampa Ngura Photo: Louise Allerton Essay contribution: Greg Castillo Copyright 2014 Harvey Art Projects USA & Spinifex Arts Project.

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Spinifex Arts Project 2014  

Harvey Art Projects USA proudly presents Spinifex Arts Project. This exhibition brings a collection of outstanding large format paintings to...

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