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power.color.story TJARLIRLI WOMEN ARTISTS OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA USA 2016


Esther Giles Katjarra Butler Nyarapayi Giles Valmayi Nampitjinpa

Honoring four leading senior women from Tjarlirli Art Center and their culturally significant work.

Cover image: NYARAPAYI GILES Warmurrungu acrylic on canvas 40� x 48� (102 x 122 cm) Catalog #15-143 Left: Tjarlirli Art Center, Tjukurla, Western Australia


Tjarlirli Artists

Paintings from Tjukurla, Western Australia This exhibition celebrates the rich and vibrant art of four senior women artists at Tjarlirli Art Center: Esther Giles, Nyarapayi Giles, Valmayi Nampitjinpa and Katjarra Butler. Established in 2006 and widely recognized for its culturally significant work, Tjarlirli Art Center represents the artists of Tjukurla in the Ngannyatjarra Lands of Western Australia, one of the most remote communities in the world. Walking into the Art Center in Tjukurla is like walking into a goldmine of color and warmth. Everything is alive; the walls and floors are spattered with years of paint flicked from the artists brush. Works in progress line the walls; every square inch of wall space is filled with canvas, primed and waiting to be inscribed with knowledge and expression. Esther, Nyarapayi, Valmayi and Katjarra are cornerstones of the art center landscape. Tjarliri Art is rooted in a timeless tradition carried through generations. The women of Tjarlirli are known for painting and drawing their stories as they always have—the way the women before them have painted and drawn their stories. “We always do it like this,” they say. They have been drawing these stories all their lives, with their mothers, their sisters, their daughters, their family. Whether it be in the sand, on the body or in paint, these artists continue a visual and cultural tradition unbroken for millennia. As the only business venture in a town of appoximately 40 people, Tjarlirli Art provides much needed income and employment. Today paintings from Tjarlirli Art command the attention of discerning buyers and in recent years have been acquired by a number of major collections in Australia and abroad. The paintings in this exhibit combine striking palettes and loose, uninhibited marks. Variations of aqua, turquoise and mauve – boldly paired with bright reds, yellows and blacks, stippled over backgrounds merge with adjacent colors adding a softness to the tonal range of bright primaries. It is this combination of palette and marks that add a bold and commanding presence to the works from the artists. Harvey Art Projects USA gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Tjarlirli Manager, Hayley Birchley, in mounting this USA exhibition. We also sincerely thank Esther, Nyarapayi, Valmayi and Katjarra for sharing these beautiful paintings that resonate so strongly their profound connection to land and culture.


Background image: NYARAPIAYI GILES Warmurrungu (detail) acrylic on canvas 58” x 70.5” (148 x 179 cm) Catalog #15-588

ESTHER GILES (Born circa 1946) Esther Giles’ works are detailed in symbolism. The iconography depicts sand dunes known as “tali” and rock escarpments known as “puli”, as well as waterholes and food sources. Her designs are often used in body art during traditional corroborees (dance ceremonies). The artworks depict the physical markings that the ancient ancestors have provided to give evidence of their activities during the time of creation. KATJARRA BUTLER (Born circa 1946) Katjarra Butler was born quite close to Kurlkurta and Puurrungu at a place called Kuun. Kunn is the name of the waterhole there. Kuun is also the name for yellow ocher. There is also a place very close to Kuun that Katjarra refers to as her home and it is one of her Tjukurrpa (dreaming) which she paints. It is called Kuurrmankutja. This place is home to the two Kuniya (python) dreaming. VALMAYI NAMPITJINPA (Born circa 1936) Valmayi was born at a place called Karukali, east of Docker River. She is a Luritja lady. Valmayi grew up in Papunya, and later lived at Haasts Bluff. Valmayi’s late husband was a well-known Papunya Tula artist Eddie Etimintja. Valmayi moved to Docker River with her second husband in her later years and has painted in Kintore with Papunya Tula Artists. NYARAPAYI GILES (Born circa 1940) Nyarapayi Giles reveals a revived vigor and dynamism in her work. Drawing on her Warmurrungu story of the ceremonial ocher pits and emu spirit of her birthplace, these new works explode with color and vitality as dots overlay each other moving as lines, circling, twirling and radiating as does the work itself, the essence of her Tjukurrpa or Dreamtime story.


NYARAPAYI GILES Warmurrungu (detail) acrylic on canvas 40” x 30” (101.5 x 75.5 cm) Catalog #14-558


NYARAPAYI GILES Warmurrungu (detail) acrylic on canvas 47” x 35” (119.5 x 89.5 cm) Catalog #14-589


VALMAYI NAMPITJINPA Karrkurinkintja (detail) acrylic on canvas 47” x 40” (120 x 101 cm) Catalog #13-208


KATJARRA BUTLER Ngamurru/Katjarra (detail) acrylic on canvas, 40” x 60” (101.5 x 151.5 cm) Catalog #15-199


ESTHER GILES Kuruyurltu - Esther (detail) acrylic on canvas 35” x 47” (89.5 x 119.5 cm) Catalog #14-590


ESTHER GILES Kuruyurltu - Esther (detail) acrylic on canvas 58” x 70” (148 x 179 cm) Catalog #15-387


NYARAPAYI GILES Warmurrungu (detail) acrylic on canvas 54” x 54” (137 x 137 cm) Catalog #15-471


NYARAPAYI GILES Warmurrungu (detail) acrylic on canvas 40” x 48” (101.5 x 121 cm) Catalog #15-586


NYARAPAYI GILES Warmurrungu (detail) acrylic on canvas 35” x 47” (89.5 x 119.5 cm) Catalog #14-608


On view 26 June- 3 August 2016 Sun Valley, USA 391 First Ave N Ketchum ID 83353 USA info@harveyartprojects.com | Phone (208) 309-8676 Back cover: Nyarapayi Giles Images courtesy Tjarlirli Art Copyright 2016 Harvey Art Projects USA & Tjarlirli Art

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Power.Color.Story: TJLARLIRLI WOMEN ARTISTS  

This exhibition celebrates the rich and vibrant art of four senior women artists at Tjarlirli Art Center: Esther Giles, Nyarapayi Giles, Val...

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