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Introduction 04

Liddy Napanangka Walker


Barbara Weir 06

Mary Anne Nampijinpa Michaels


Anna Price Petyarre


Ningura Napurrula 62

Kathleen Petyarre 10

Tjunkiya Napaltjarri 64

Janelle Stockman Napaltjarri


Wendy Darby 66

Ronnie Tjampitjinpa 14

Wentja Napaltjarri 68

Minnie Pwerle 16

Gracie Ward Napaltjarri 70

Betsy Napangardi Lewis


Jeannie Mills Pwerl 72

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri 24

M. J. Sally Gabori 74

Dolly Petyarre Mills 28

Gordon Syron 76

Evelyn Pultara 30

Roy Mcivor 78

Freddie Timms 34

Sarrita King 80

Gloria Tamerre Petyarre 36

Mervyn Numbagardie 82

Jack Dale 42

Jorna Newberry 84

Judy Napangardi Watson


Alma Nungurrayi Granites

Kenny Williams Tjampitjinpa


Nyree Ngari Reynolds 88

Kudditiji Kngwarreye 50


Dawn Ngala Wheeler 100

INTRODUCTION Australian Aboriginal art is one of the oldest continuing art traditions in the world. Much of the most important knowledge of aboriginal society was conveyed through different kinds of storytelling — including narratives that were spoken, performed as dances or songs, and those that were painted.

is the way Aboriginal people explain life and how their world came into being. It is central to the existence of traditional Aboriginal people, their lifestyle and their culture, for it determines their values and beliefs and their relationship with every living creature and every feature of the landscape.

Traditional symbols are an essential part of much contemporary Aboriginal art. Aboriginal peoples have long artistic traditions within which they use conventional designs and symbols.


These designs when applied to any surface, whether on the body of a person taking part in a ceremony or on a shield, have the power to transform the object to one with religious significance and power. Australian Aboriginal contemporary traditional work depicts themes connected to the „Dreamtime“ and are frequently called „Dreamings“ „The Dreamtime is the period in which creative acts were performed by the first ancestors of men -- spirits, heros and heroines, who established the pattern of nature and life, and created man‘s environment. The Dreamtime is a process as well as a period: it had its beginning when the world was young and unformed, but it has never ceased. The ancestor who established law and patterns of behavior is as alive today as when he performed his original creative acts. The sacred past, the Dreamtime, is for Aborigines also the sacred present, the Eternal Dreamtime.“


The Dreaming tells of the journeys and deeds of creator ancestors. The creator ancestors made the trees, rocks, waterholes, rivers, mountains and stars, as well as the animals and plants, and their spirits inhabit these features of the natural world today. Good and bad behaviours are demonstrated in Dreaming stories as ancestors hunt, marry, care for children and defend themselves from their enemies.

CONCEPT OF TIME The Dreaming is often understood as a period of time, but this European concept of a unit of time in past does not contain the full meaning. The Dreaming is not some long past era but a continuous entity, from which people come, which people renew and which people go back to. Art is one of the ways through which Aboriginal people communicate with and maintain a oneness with the Dreaming. When people take on the characteristics of the Dreaming ancestors through dance, song and art and when they maintain sacred sites, the spirits of the creator ancestors are renewed.



Dreaming does not convey the fullness of the concept for Aboriginal people, but is the most acceptable English word to Aboriginal people. The word is acceptable because very often revelations or insights are received in dreams or recurring visions. The Dreaming refers to all that is known and all that is understood. It

For Aboriginal people who follow traditional beliefs, the Dreaming is intensely personal. Each person is linked to it by his or her individual Dreaming (or totem). This belief involves the idea that the creator ancestors, who were physically alive in the natural features of the landscape in which they once moved.

OUR ‚COUNTRY‘ It is the natural world, which therefore provides the link between the people and the Dreaming, especially the land (or ‚country‘) to which a person belongs. Aboriginal people see themselves as related to, and part of, this natural world and know its features in intricate detail. This relationship carries responsibilities for its survival and continuity so that each person has special obligations to protect and preserve the spirit of the land and the life forms that are a part of it.

CULTURAL HERITAGE The Dreaming is as important to Aboriginal people as the Christian Bible and the whole ethos of Christian belief is to the devout Christian. The Dreaming is still vitally important to today‘s Aboriginal people. It gives a social and spiritual base and links them to their cultural heritage. Many Aboriginal people are Christian as well as having a continuing belief in their Dreaming.

In some areas, where Aboriginal people may no longer have the full knowledge of their Dreaming, they still retain strong spirituality, kinship practices and traditional values and beliefs.

ART FORMS Aboriginal people traditionally used the materials available to them to symbolise the Dreaming and their world. As a result, art forms varied in different areas of Australia. In the central desert, ground drawing was a very important style of art, and throughout Australia rock art as well as body painting and decoration were common, although varying in styles, method, materials and meaning. There is and was a wide range of traditional Aboriginal art forms.


Barbara Weir Barbara Weir was born in 1945 at what was formerly

Kame Kngwarreye who had looked after her as a small

known as Bundy River Station in the region of Utopia,

child. She began to relearn the languages of her peo-

240 km northeast of Alice Springs. Her country is Atnwen-

ple. Through her renewed special relationship with Emily

gerrp and her language is Anmatyerre and Alyawarr.

Kngwarreye, Barbara‘s talent and interest in art was encouraged and began to flourish.

Barbara‘s mother is Aboriginal and her father is Irish, and because she was a child of mixed parentage she was

Barbara Weir‘s Dreamings are: Bush Berry, Grass Seed,

taken away from her family at the age of nine. During

Wild Flower and My Mother‘s Country, which she paints

these years she lost contact with her family, but was de-

with an explosive mixture of Aboriginal spirituality and

termined to return and reclaim her heritage.

modern white culture. She is represented in major private and public collections including the Holmes a Court

In the late 1960s she finally returned to Utopia with her

Collection and the Art Gallery of South Australia.

six children, to be reunited with the famous late Emily

Story In the Utopia region, there are many varieties of grasses to be

This ant, collected the seeds, and ate a certain portion and

found. One such type is found in the spinifex, sand plains, and

then discarded the rest. The discarded seeds would be found

sandhills that produce a seed that is collected, crushed and

in a pile just outside the nest, where it was collected, cleaned

made into a paste to produce a bread that the people eat.

and then ground into a thick paste to produce the damper or bread - an important source of food for the Aboriginal people.

This grass can grow up to 15 cm high and is reddish in colour. It is found throughout the year, but is particularly abundant

The practice of making this bread is not in much use today,

after a fall of rain. Due to the grazing of cattle and rabbits the

due to the introduction of ready made bread.

grass is not as plentiful and the seeds are harder to collect.

This grass is important to Barbara. The small brush strokes in warm colours overlap and weave to create a swaying effect

In years gone, the Aboriginal people collected these seeds in

like the movement of native grass. The Dreaming for this grass

a most unusual way. Due to the seeds ripening at different sta-

seed has been passed down to her by her ancestors.

ges, many would fall to the ground and be covered by sand and lost from view. The Aboriginal people would look for the nesting site of a particular ant.

Grass Seed Dreaming​


Synthetic Polymer on Canvas 120 x 90 cm 2004


Anna Price Petyarre Anna Price Petyarre is an eastern Anmatyerre woman,

Amongst these is the story of women painting up for ce-

born at Utopia in 1960. Anna‘s home is Atneltyeye,

remony inside a cave, singing of how to attract a man,

Boundary Bore, on the Utopia Homelands, approximate-

and of the bush foods preferred by interested suitors. The

ly 220 km from Alice Springs.

women also learn the laws that stipulate that they must only encourage the interests of men of a certain clan

She lives there with her family. She is a grandmother with

relationship to themselves.

five grandchildren. Anna, whose mother was the late artist Glory Ngale, has painted since her early childhood.

Anna‘s more recent work has focused on images of her

She is related to Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Kudditji

ancestral country, the finely delineated structures show-

Kngwarreye through her grandfather, who was a brother

ing the terrain of the sandhill and bush country, often

of Emily and Kuddltji‘s father.

with markings that reveal waterholes and ceremonial sites.

Her subjects include Bush Yam and Yam Seed Dreamings, which are associated Dreamings from her grandfather’s

She is renowned for her line painting technique and for

and father’s country at Atneltyeye, or Boundary Bore. As

the care and pride she takes in her work, producing intri-

a traditional Aboriginal women involved in sacred cere-

cate and sensitive paintings that relate to the traditional

monies, Anna also paints Awelye-ceremonlal body paint

culture of her Anmatyerre heritage.

designs - related to women‘s ceremony.

Story In this painting Anna Petyarre illustrates multi-layered elements associated with her country Atneltyeye, or Boundary Bore, on the Utopia Homelands. She says ‘There are sandhills and hills and rivers - big ones and little ones.“ In the tradition of ancient sand drawings, Anna has painted her country from an areal perspective. The finely dotted lines trace the shapes of the sandhills and watercourses that run through her homelands.

Sandhills and watercourse​


Acrylic on Canvas 148 x 90 cm 2008


KATHLEEN PETYARRE Kathleen Petyarre was born at Atnangkere, an important

time, resulted in much stricter emphasis being put on

water soakage for Aboriginal people on the western

the documentation of authorship in Aboriginal pain-

boundary of Utopia Station, 150 miles north-east of Ali-

tings. Her name was eventually cleared, and she retai-

ce Springs in Australia‘s Northern Territory. She belongs

ned her award.

to the Alyawarre/Eastern Anmatyerre clan and speaks Eastern Anmatyerre, with English as her second langua-

Her considerable reputation as one of the most original

ge. Kathleen, with her daughter Margaret and her sisters,

indigenous artists has since been confirmed nationally

settled at Mosquito Bore at Utopia Station, near her bir-

and internationally by her regular inclusion in exhibitions

thplace. She started working in batik in 1977 when an

at the most reputed museums and galleries. The last few

adult education instructor, Jenny Green, arrived in Uto-

years, from about 2003-2004 onwards, have seen a bol-

pia and organised batik workshops.

der style emerge, with clusters of larger dots and stronger lines alongside the very fine textures for which the

In 1996 she was the winner of the 13th Telstra National

artist is known. While this style has been decried in some

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. Contro-

quarters as being less refined, it has also been hailed

versy arose in 1997 when Petyarre‘s estranged partner

as being a logical artistic development towards a more

of ten years, Ray Beamish, claimed that he had had a

powerful and dramatic mode of expression, „perhaps

hand in the execution of the winning painting. This con-

more abstract, certainly more modern in its technicality

troversy, which shook the Aboriginal art market at the

and presentation“.

Story This painting shows Kathleen‘s depiction of ”Arnkerrthe

right hand corner), Alice Springs to the South (top left hand

(Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming)”. It represents her country,

corner). In the bottom left hand corner is a waterhole, which

the Anmatyerre region in Central Australia. The lizard is a thor-

is a secret place for the Anmatyerre people. It is specific to

ny animal that can change its colour to blend with its surroun-

men’s business, particularly in Kathleen‘s case for her father

dings. It can also stay very still to avoid predators and to coll-

and her grandfather. Kathleen made it clear that women are

ect condensation on its thorns which runs down the curves

strictly not allowed to drink from this waterhole.

into its mouth.

Kathleen said that the emu was travelling along, past the wa-

The cross shape in the middle of the painting shows the tra-

terhole and saw a kangaroo and asked it for water. The kan-

vels of the emu, each path leads to a place - Tennant Creek to

garoo did not have any water and told the emu to return back

the North (bottom right hand corner). Ti Tree to the West (top

the way it came.

Arnkerrthe - Mountain Devil Lizard


Acrylic on Linen 120 x 170 cm 2009


Janelle Stockman Napaltjarri Janelle is the grand daughter of Billy Stockman, one of the original members of the early Papunya Tula artists. She lived at Arnkawenyerr, located in the Utopia region. Janelle began painting in 2001 and her works have always been considered very contemporary in style. Her works do not tell a story of her ancient dreamtime, but simply an expression of herself as she wanted to do a new style, and something different to everyone else. She gained her inspiration through the landscape, a story from her past and her dream to be a famed artist like her grandfather. Her work has been admired by many and featured in exhibitions nationally and internationally, as well as being represented in collections throughout Australia. Janelle passed away in November 2009.

Story In this painting Janelle has used contemporary techniques to depict the landscape and the countryside at her homelands at Papunya, approximately 500km west of Alice Springs in Central Australia. A dynamic artist Janelle combines traditional dreaming stories with strong vibrant colours to portray the changing desert landscape.

My Country


Acrylic on Linen 120 x 180 cm 2009


RONNIE TJAMPITJINPA Ronnie Tjampitjinpa was born some time around 1943 in the

across the landscape performing ceremonies to create and

region near Muyinnga, about 100 km west of the Kintore Ran-

shape the country associated with Dreaming sites. The Tingari

ges in Western Australia (and approximately 500 km west of

ancestors gathered at these sites for Maliera (initiation) ce-

Alice Springs). His family travelled extensively across Pintupi

remonies. The sites take the form of, and are located at, sig-

territory, moving through this region and also around Wilkin-

nificant rock-holes, sand hills, sacred mountains and water

karra (Lake Mackay) which straddles the Western Australia -

soakages in the western desert. Tingari may be poetically in-

Northern Territory border. He was initiated into Aboriginal Law

terpreted as song-line paintings relating to the songs (of the

at Yumari, near his birthplace.

people) and creation stories (of places) in Pintupi mythology. Ronnie can be considered amongst the first wave of artists

Ronnie originally came in from the bush at Yuendumu and

effectively linking such ancient stories with modern mediums.

later joined relatives living in Papunya, where he worked as a labourer, helping with the fencing of the airfield. He started

During his time at Papunya Ronnie talked of returning to his

painting around 1971 at the time that the desert art move-

traditional country. This became possible when Kintore was

ment began in Papunya and over several years he moved bet-

established in 1981 and Ronnie moved there with his family

ween Papunya, Yuendumu and Mt Doreen Station. Ronnie‘s

shortly afterwards. He has been a committed artist since his

work follows the Pintupi style of strong circles joined together

earliest involvement with the central desert art movement and

by connecting lines relating to the people, country and the

has since emerged as one of the region‘s major painters. To-

Dreamtime. The primary images in Ronnie‘s work are based

day, Ronnie remains an important influence on a new gene-

on the Tingari Cycle which is a secret song cycle sacred to

ration of painters.

initiated men. The Tingari are Dreamtime Beings who travelled

Story This painting depicts the Pintupi Dreamtime ancestors. It is a traditional custom for the Pintupi Aboriginal men to light bush fires, during ceremonial men‘s business. The gap through the painting depicts a large baron sand hill. The custodians of this dreaming are the Tjangala and Tjampitjinpa‘s, the Tjapaltjarri are the guardian of this particular dreaming and they are responsible for body painting and overall making sure this ceremony is carried out correctly. Ronnie is considered to be a leading Australian indigenous artist.

Fire dreaming Acrylic on Canvas 192 x 118 cm



Minnie Pwerle Minnie Pwerle was born in the Utopia region in approximate-

These convey her love and respect for the land and the food

ly 1910. Her country is Atnwengerrp and her language is An-

it provides to the people. “Awelye-Atnwengerrp‘ is depicted by

matyerre and Alyawarr. Minnie has five sisters, and seven child-

a series of lines painted in different widths and colours. This

ren including Eileen, Betty, June, Dora, Raymond, and Barbara

pattem represents the lines painted on the top half of the

Weir who is a well-known Aboriginal artist, also represented by

women‘s bodies during ceremonies in their country of Atn-

Flinders Lane Gallery.


Minnie began painting in earnest recently at DACOU‘s workshop where she completed a series of linear paintings in September/October 1999. Sonia Heitlinger, Director of Flinders Lane Gallery organised for Minnie‘s first solo exhibition in 2000 based on the strength of these paintings.These works are bold and free-flowing and immediately captured the attention of art lovers. Her first exhibition sold out. Minnies‘ main Dreamings are „Awelye-Atnwengerrp“, “Bush Melon“, and “Bush Melon Seed“.

Story Minnie’s Dreamings consist of elements of ‘Bush Melon’ and

tracts of land. In many situations, individuals are completely

‚Awelyei Awelye - Atnwengerrp’ is epicted by a series of lines

transformed, so they ‚become‘ the spirit ancestor they are por-

painted in varying widths and colours. These patterns repre-

traying in the dance.

sent the lines painted on the top half of vvomen’s bodies during ceremonies in Minnie’s country of Atnwengerrp.

Body painting ranges from simply smearing clay across the face to hill body patteming, The body paint is derived from

Body painting carries a deep spiritual significance for Aborigi-

blood, natural ochres, spinifex ash and emu fat. Elaborate

nal people. They recognise the creative nature of this activity,

ground constructions (sand paintings) are also made for the

which uses the human body itself as a living canvas for artistic

ceremonies. Patterns must conform to the ceremony being

expression - The use of particular designs and motifs donates

performed, and the women are not at liberty to adorn them-

social position and the relationship of the individuals to their

selves with designs of free will.

family group and to particular ancestors, totemic animals and



Acrylic on Linen 140 x 200 cm 2004


Awelye Womens Bush Melon


Acrylic on Linen 90 x 200 cm 2004


Womens Body Painting


Acrylic on Linen 90 x 150 cm 2005


Betsy Napangardi Lewis Betsy Napangardi Lewis’ strong character and confronting na-

women of all ages travel through the country dancing and

ture can sometimes be overwhelming. However behind that

performing ceremonies and creating the country as they go.

tough exterior is a caring, happy and smiley person. Betsy was

Betsy has developed her own very characteristic style while

bom in the bush at Kunajanyi, west of Yuendumu but when

painting this dreaming. She has a unique control and use of

she was quite young she moved with her family to Mt. Dore-

colour and design with thick and narrow super-imposed lines

en Station. She was brought up by Paddy Japanangka Lewis.

of different colours.

Betsy attended school in Yuendumu where she now lives permanently. She has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists

She has been able to create and express movement through

since 1999. She can be found painting at the art centre every

her designs and use of bright colours. More than just a depic-

day where she carefully works on her design, always willing to

tion of the story, the artist has used the Jukurrpa as a medium

experiment with new techniques and styles.

to experiment and evolve technically.

Betsy‘s main Dreaming is Mina Mina, country located far west

Betsy Napangardi Lewis has been able to create the illusion

of Yuendumu on the border of the Tanami and Gibson Desert.

of movement with the use of clean lines of different colours. In

She shares this country and dreaming with Judy Napangar-

many of her paintings she has concentrated on a very small

di Watson. Mina Mina is a very important women’s dreaming

part of the dreaming story as her main focus is the develop-

site and has a long story in which a large group of ancest

ment of her very own distinctive painting style.

Story This story is part of the Karntakurlangu (Women‘s Dreaming)

Women collect the Jintiparnta, squeeze out the juice, and

which belongs to the Napanangka and Napangardi sub-

then cook it before eating. The women also collected Ngaly-

sections. During the Dreamtime a group of Napanangka and

ipi to make shoulder straps to carry coolamon with bush tu-

Napangardi women travelled through Janyinki on their way

cker. The central motive in this painting are the digging sticks

east to Mina Mina, the site associated with this Dreaming. They

(represented by the straight lines) that these women carried

carried Karlangu (digging sticks) and collected bush tucker

and the curved lines represent the motion of the sticks as the

such as Jintipamta and Purlumtari, which they carried in their

women dig for Jintiparnta, the edible mushrooms. This grass is

Parraja (food carriers).

important to Barbara. The small brush strokes in warm colours overlap and weave to create a swaying effect like the move-

Both Jintiparnta and Purlurntari, are varieties of edible fungus,

ment of native grass.

also known as native truffle, that are found after rains. The growing fungus forces the earth above it to crack, exposing it.

Mina Mina Jukurrpa


Acrylic on Canvas 183 x 91 cm 2005


Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri is a Pitjantjatjara man born in the

Whiskey spent a little time with Patupirri before moving back to

1920‘s at Pirupa Akla, country located near the Olgas and to

Haasts Bluff mission, where he had been told there were plenty

the west of Ayers Rock. By the time he was a young man, most

of women. This time Whiskey stayed, and was given his first set

of Whiskey’s family had passed away.

of clothes. And it was here that he met his wife Colleen Nampltjinpa, and never retumed to his home country.

Many of his people had begun moving towards Haasts Bluff mission, about 250 km to the north east. Whiskey joined a

Whiskey practiced as a witch doctor or traditional healer, and

group of people who were about to make that joumey. No

people would come from afar to be treated by him. While li-

one had yet seen white people, and when they arrived at the

ving at the Haasts Bluff mission, Whiskey took a job as cook

mission, the desert people were completely naked.

for the contract fencers and mustering crew. He came to be called Whiskers, owing to his long white beard, and the name

Whiskey, along with some of the others, decided not to stay,

eventually evolved into Whiskey. Whiskey began painting in

as they were frightened when they saw white people for the

2004. The main images in his works are the Rockholes near

first time. Their fear came from the belief that the white people

Pirupa, Ayers Rock, and the story of his own joumeys to Areyon-

were Mamu, or bad spirit people, and so the group continued

ga and Haasts Bluff.

to travel. They eventually arrived at an area near Areyonga, where a white missionary Pastor called Patupirri had estab-

Whiskey is a very traditional man with an extremely jovial per-

lished a camp. It was here that Whiskey and the others first

sonality. The bright colours in his work are said to reflect the

tasted white man food. Whiskey tells how they would throw this

character of the man - bold, colourful, and strong in spirit.

strange food behind theirs backs, as they did not like its taste.

Story Bill has painted the country and rockholes around Ayres Rock.

By the time he was a young man most of Whiskey’s family had

This painting has been created from an aerial perspective, in

passed away and the people in the area were moving in the

the tradition of ancient sand drawings.

direction of Haast Bluff Mission and he followed along with them. Whiskey has never been back to his home lands and in

The term ‘country’ as used by indigenous Australians refers to

his paintings recall the country of his birth.

the spirits that reside in location as well as the landscape itself. Bill Whiskey, was originally from Pirupa Akla (Olgas) area.

Rock Holes and Country near the Olga´s


Acrylic on Linen 125 x 40 cm 2006


Story Bill Whiskey was a highly individual artist whose paintings are

Tjapaltjarri explained that this was how his Dreaming site

characterised by compositional complexity, subtlety of tone

came to exist. The cockatoo is portrayed as a white rock while

and an innate understanding of colour and composition. He

the white stones around the site are the cockatoo‘s white fea-

used the dotting technique to carefully depict specific sites

thers, which, in his paintings, are described by white dots.

located in his ancestral Country and the environmental and geographical features associated with those places. For in-

The eagle is represented by a hill that overlooks and protects

stance, he often incorporated in his paintings the rockholes

the cockatoo. The roundels or concentric circles in the pain-

near the Olgas and the ‚Cockatoo Dreaming‘ story.

tings are both the holes made in the landscape during the Dreamtime tussle, and also specific fresh-water rockholes

The latter tells ofa cockatoo that was preparing some kan-

used for generations by Tjapaltjarri‘s family.

garoo meat for storage until she had laid her eggs. A curious black crow was jealously watching the proceedings and

Of other marks and patterns in his paintings, he said,‘They are

decided to steal a portion of the meat. Both birds fought for

the tracks around the rockholes that we follow when we travel

some time, creating large holes in the landscape. Eventually

in and out. The next time we come back we know which way

the crow hit the cockatoo with a rock, injuring her badly.

to go. The long slashes of colour that appear in the paintings depict the empty creeks and gullies along which water flows

An eagle which witnessed the terrible fight decided to help

during heavy rains‘.

the cockatoo, so she told the crow she wanted to make love to him. While the crow waited in anticipation, the eagle struck him with hot spinifex wax, scalding his genitals. Shamed and in pain, the crow slowly flew away.

Rock Holes near the Olga´s


Acrylic on Linen 92 x 91 cm 2008


Dolly Petyarre Mills Dolly Petyarre Mills was born in 1948 at Boundary Bore Outsta-

Dolly depicts Yam Dreamings and Emu Tucker in her paintings.

tion on Utopia Community in the Northern Territory and her

The yam is one of the most stable types of bush tucker gathe-

language group is Alyawarr. Dolly lives with her sister, Gloria

red in the Utopia region. Intricate dot work represents the yam

(Glory) Petyarre Mills, at Boundary Bore and are full sisters to

seeds and the flowers. Dolly explains that Emus love to eat the

Greeny Petyarre Purvis. She is widely recognised as one of

delicate golden flower that blooms on this shrub during the

Australia’s leading Aboriginal artists and has work in major

hot summer months.

Australian and international collections. Dolly’s paintings are characteristically bold and vibrant. She The delicate patterning and subtle colours of Dolly’s work

creates a strong linear design by overlaying thicker dots over

depicts her country of Alhalker situated in the Utopia region

the fine dot work.

north east of Alice Springs. She participated in the „Utopia - A Picture Story“ which included 88 silk batiks from Robert Holmes a Court collection. This confirmed the artistic credibility of the Utopian artists.

Story The seed of the atnwelarr - pencil yam and Ilenyenp - one of the varieties of cassia found in the Utopia Region, are the subject of Dolly’s painting. The stories surrounding both of these plants belong to Alhalkere country in the Utopia Region, northeast of Alice Springs. The straight line through the centre of the painting and the diagonal direction of dots signifies travelling, dancing and story lines. Intricate dot work represnts the yam seeds and the flowers of the cassia. Dolly explains that emus love to eat the delicate golden yellow flower blooms on this shrub during the hot months.

Yam Seed and Emu Tucker


Acrylic on Linen 120 x 90 cm 2005


Evelyn Pultara Evelyn Pultara lives at Wilora Community in the Utopia Home-

It is her unyielding ability to find harmony within a varied palet-

lands with her husband Clem and their family. Her parents

te that sets her apart as an artist. She is heavily represented in

(now deceased) were Rosie Ngale and Jack Kngwarreye.

Galleries in France and Italy and had her first solo exhibition at

Jack was brother to the late Emily Kngwarreye making Evelyn

Walkabout Gallery in Leichardt, Sydney in June 2003 she has

her blood niece.

also been part of several group exhibitions, including, most recently an exhibition of Contemporary Aboriginal Art at Gallery

Jack had two wives and five children the only other child by

New Quay Docklands, Melbourne.

Rosie is Greeny Purvis the well respected Anmatyerre elder and famous artist. Greeny and Evelyn both share the plant totem of their late Aunt the bush yam which is a native subterranean source of food and water. Evelyn represents her dreaming totem in many different styles, from pictorial representations of the plants edible root system to the explosive nature of a germinating yam seed.

Story Her Dreamings, related through haptic adventures in paint, relate the tales of the mythic totemic ancestors who made the land, its people, and its food. Through their telling and retelling and the depiction of their sites in art, these Dreamings provide a song-map that locates the water holes, ochre pits, food sources, and sacred sites of the artist’s country. It has been said that her paintings impart the rhythm of the yam corroborree enacted and retold for time in memoriam through song and dance.

Bush Yam


Acrylic on Linen 48 x 195 cm 2005


Bush Yam


Acrylic on Linen 120 x 90 cm 2005


Freddie Timms Freddie was given the bush name, Gnarrmaliny, after the

Today,he and wife Beryline,live at the tiny community of Frog Hol-

place he was born - Police Hole, on the vast East Kimberley

low where he enjoys the peace and quiet as he paints his stories.

Cattle Station, Bedford Downs in 1944. Growing up on the busy

He started painting about twelve years ago, using the know-

property, he learned all the necessary riding and stock hand-

ledge and techniques that he had acquired by working with,

ling skills at an early age. He contract mustered on most of

and talking with the best of the Warmun Artists such as Jack

them surrounding pastoral leases, including Bedford, Lissadell,

Britten, Hector Jandanay, Henry Wambini, the late Rover Tho-

Mabel Downs, Old Argyle, Texas Downs and Bow River Station.

mas and his father-in-law, Paddy Jampinji, who was one of the finest of the earlier Warmun/Turkey Creek artists.

After the stockmen‘s dispute in the seventies, which resulted in the removal of most of the people from their homelands, he

Freddie travels frequently to attend numerous Group and

was placed first in the Guda-Guda Community at Wyndham,

Solo Exhibitions within Australia and his paintings have been

after which, he and his family were relocated to Warmun/Tur-

collected/acquired by the most notable Galleries, Collectors

key Creek. Bow River Station was eventually granted by the

both in Australia and overseas.

Government to the Timms Family, with Freddie’s uncle the late Timmy as Chairperson.

Story Sallybutte Creek runs through Springvale Station, joins up with a tributary of the Ord River and then turns on heading towards Bow River Station. It should be called a river - too big to be a creek. Always water in it and everyone knows Sallybutte. Still used today to bring the cattle into the yards there. Now most of the mustering is by chopper - it‘s quicker but they miss a few of the big scrub bulls in the higher country.

Sallybutte Creek - Springvale


Ochre on Canvas 90 x 124 cm 1998


Gloria Tamerre Petyarre Gloria Tamerre Petyarre was born near Utopia and is a spokes-

Her first canvases were created as part of a Central Australian

woman for the Anmatyerre people. She is married to the artist

Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) art project. In 1990

Ronnie Price Mpetyane and has four sisters - Ada Bird Petyarre,

she travelled with the exhibiton „Utopia - A Picture Story“ to

Violet Petyarre, Myrtle Petyarre, Kathleen Petyarre - who are all

Dublin, London and also to India.

artists. Gloria is a very well known and respected artist. In 1999 she Gloria Tamerre Petyarre first became known as an artists for

became the first contemporary Aboriginal artist to win the

her contributions to the Utopia Batik Exhibition which toured

important „Wynne Prize for Landscape“ of the Art Gallery of

Australia and overseas from 1977 to 1987. She began using

New South Wales in Sydney. Her first solo show was in 1991

acrylic paint on canvas in 1988, because it gave her greater

and since then she has had many exhibitions, including in

freedom of expression and simultaneously better control over

New York.

the results.

Story Bush Medicine Dreaming makes reference to the leaves of a

The leaves are also collected and boiled to extract their resin,

particular type of native shrub which grows abundantly in the

which is then mixed with kangaroo fat. This creates a paste

desert regions of Utopia, Gloria Petyarre’s homeland, north-

that can be stored for six months in bush conditions. This me-

east of Alice Springs. The leaves are invaluable to the people

dicine is used to heal cuts, wounds, bites, rashes and as an

of Utopia as they are used to aid in the healing process. Du-

insect repellent.

ring the life of the plant, the leaves change colour and exhibit different medicinal properties. In this work Gloria captures the

The leaves can also be made into a mixture to apply to

movement of the leaves as they fall to the ground.

aching joints or to place on the temples to cure headaches. The knowledge of Bush Medicine has been passed down

This sense of motion is characteristic of her paintings. She

from generation to generation over thousands of years and is

also employs bold brush strokes loaded with colour to repre-

still being used today by the people of Utopia. In painting Bush

sent the leaves at different times of the year. The green leaves

Medicine Dreaming, the artist is paying homage to the spirit of

are gathered by the women and ground with a stone. When

the medicinal plant to encourage its regeneration so that her

mixed with water this forms a milky solution which can be used

people can continue to benefit from its healing powers.

to cure coughs, colds and flu-like symptoms.

Bush Medicine


Acrylic on Linen 120 x 91 cm 2009


Bush Medicine


Synthetic Polymer on Linen 152x 122 cm 2005


Story Mountain Devil Dreaming celebrates the Thorny Devil Lizard (arnkerrth) that is found throughout central Australia. lt is a small, fearsome looking creature but it has a harmless, placid nature and relies on the striking appearance of its ‘thorny‘ skin to scare away predators. Its other defence is to change colour to blend easily into the environment. In Mountain Devil Dreaming, the artist paints the changing patterns of the Iizard‘s skin. Aboriginal people believe that during the Dreamtime this small lizard collected and carried ochres in a pouch located at the back of its neck. As it walked the land it deposited these ochres in various places throughout the country. Aboriginal people consider the ochre sacred and they use it to paint their bodies for ceremonies.

Mountain Devil Dreaming


Synthetic Polymer on Linen 121 x 205 cm 2006


Jack dale Jack Dale Mengenen, born around 1922, is one of the most

what we are telling them, all our symbols have gone, we are

senior law men of the Kimberley Narrungunni people. Dale

too far away...Lots of people learned white man‘s rules, but

paints from his memory of ‚law and the old people‘ so that

nobody recognised our law...It was bad when we saw loads

these Dreamtime stories won‘t be lost. As senior law man, Jack

of stone smashed up in our land. Many of these were special

Dale has the moral authority to paint the Wandjinas and their

stones like in my paintings here. These stones we call Djalala,


which separate our country from somebody else‘s country...

Dale‘s extraordinary paintings of Wandjinas, the most impor-

We were taught to care for our country, our mother, it‘s our bir-

tant spirit ancestors of the Kimberleys, and Jalalas or marking

thright, it‘s our father‘s land too. We had to abide white man‘s

stones, represent some of Australia‘s most important aborigi-

law, that‘s when misery came on us...Many people too old to

nal art by a contemporary indigenous artist.

walkabout country. But these Djalala very important for us. It‘s our evidence that Wandjina created.“

„A lot of people died unhappy when we were taken from our land. We are in the desert now, strange country we don‘t know. We can‘t give evidence now. How can people understand

Story ‘These Wandjinas come from Iondra in the Komaduwah clan estate. They are my proof of ownership of this land just like the words written on a Title to Land issued by the government agency that manages land tenure. My title to land comes from the Narrungunni (Dreaming) and Whitefellas get theirs from the government. In my way of thinking the Blackfellas law is older and more true than the Whitefellas‘ law.’ Jack Dale. ‘Iondra - My Grandad country.’

Six Wandjinas - Ye Lala


Ochre on Canvas 65 x 55 cm 2006


Judy Napangardi Watson Judy Watson was born at Yarungkanji, Mt. Doreen Station, at

Though a very tiny woman Judy has had ten children, three of

the time when many Warlpiri and other Central and Westem

whom she has outlived. She is a woman of incredible energy.

Desert Peoples were living a traditional nomadic life. With her

This is transmitted to her work through her dynamic use of co-

family, Judy made many trips on foot to her country and lived

lour, and energetic “dragged dotting‘ style.

for long periods at Mina Mina and Yingipurlangu, her ancestral country on the border of the Tanami and Gibson Deserts.

She is at the forefront of a move towards more abstract rendering of Jukurrpa by Warlpiri artists, however her work retains

These places are rich in bush tucker such as wanakiji, bush

strong kurruwani, the details which tell of the sacredness of

plums, yakajirri, bush tomatoes, and wardapi, sand goanna.

place and song in her culture.

Judy still frequently goes hunting in the country west of Yuendumu, near her homelands. Judy was taught painting by her elder sister, Maggie Napangardi Watson. She painted alongside her at Warlukurlangu artists for a number of years, developing her own unique style.

Story ‘This painting depicts a major women’s ceremonial site known as Mina Mina, located near Lake Mackay in the Tanami Desert, north of Yuendumu in the Northern Territory. The central dark element represents hairstring that is worn as belts and tassels by Warlpiri women. This hairstring is closely associated with the Karnakurlangu Jurkurrpa that is acted out at the Mina Mina ceremonial site. Hairstring is mainly spun directly after the death of a family member. Women cut their hair, ritually cleanse it and spin it into yarn.

Hairstring at Mina Mina


Acrylic on Linen 122 x 61 cm 2006


Mina Mina Jukurrpa


Acrylic on Linen 107 x 61 cm 2006


Kenny Williams Tjampitjinpa Kenny Williams Tjampitjinpa was born in 1950 - Kiwirrkura. He

Kenny began his painting career in 1988 while at Papunya,

now lives and works at Intinti, NT. His meticulous painting tech-

where he was a member and Chairman of Papunya Tula Ar-

nique of linear geometric designs in delicate earthy tones

tists for many years. He depicts his tribal country around the

are hypnotic and replicate those used for decorating shields,

area of Kiwirrkura and his father‘s country, Yirrukurlu, located

boomerangs and „tjuringa“.

south of the Pollock Hills. His dreamings include a Python story and Ngamanpura, a swamp west of Kintore, where a black-

The eldest of two children of Naata Nungurrayi, Kenny spent

berry of the same name is found in favourable seasons.

his boyhood travelling with his family in the lands surrounding Wilkinkarra, until they were taken to Papunya by a welfare patrol in 1963 with most of the Anatjari Tjampitjinpa group. He moved to Balgo Hills during the 1970s together with a group of Pintupi people, but eventually returned to Papunya. Then, with his older brother Ronnie Tjampitjinpa, he transferred to the Intinti outstation west of Kintore.

Story This painting depicts designs associated with the travels of two

Generally, the Tingari area group of ancestral beings of the

kuniya (pythons), a male and a female, from Manapinti to the

Dreaming who travelled over vast stretches of the country, per-

rockhole site of Karrilwarra, a site north-west of the Kiwirrkura

forming rituals and creating and shaping particular sites.

Community. The snakes’ tracks are represented by the lines in the painting. At Karrilwarra the snakes created the rockholes,

The Tingari Men were usually followed by Tingari Women and

soakages and sandhills before travelling south-west to Wiluna.

were accompanied by novices, and their travels and adventures are enshrined in a number of song cycles. These stories

The concentric circles in this painting represent the rockho-

form part of the teachings of the post initiatory youths today

les at the site. This site was also visited by travelling Tingari

as well as providing explanations for contemporary customs.

people, who later continued their journey in the same direction as the snakes. Since events associated with the Tingari Cycle are of a secret nature no further detail was given.

KW 0611224


122 x 91 cm 2006


Kudditiji Kngwarreye Kudditji Kngwarreye is a senior man of the Eastern Anmatyer-

on colour and form of the landscape. Strong images were

re language group from Alhalkere on the Utopia homelands,

being created of the intense skies of the desert rainy season

about 270 km north east of Alice Springs. Kudditji (pronounced

and the extreme heat of high summer.

Kubbitji), was born around 1928. He is the younger brother of renowned Utopia artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

These innovative paintings were slow to be accepted, and the artist returned to the more popular style of his finely dotted

As a young man Kudditji worked as a stockman on cattle sta-

paintings. In 2003 Kudditji returned to explore the looser pain-

tions around his traditional country, and took other occassio-

ting style, which draws close connections to the later paintings

nal jobs including working as a gold miner. He began pain-

of his elder sister Emily Kame Kngwarreye, who was one of the

ting in 1986, after the Central Desert art movement that began

great innovators in contemporary desert art. Kuddtji Kngwar-

with the work of senior men at Papunya, began spreading out

reye paints his traditional country, the country for which he is a

to other desert communities.

custodian, around Boundary Bore on the Utopia homelands. Significant throughout this country are the Emu Dreaming si-

Kudditji Kngwarreye’s early style consisted of symmetrically

tes, where major men‘s initiation ceremonies are performed.

dotted paintings depicting the Emu Dreaming sites and ceremonies associated with Men‘s Business. During the mid 1990‘s

The “Emu Dreaming“ is one of Kudditji’s inherited ancestral to-

Kudditji began to experiment, replacing his previous fine dot-

tems, and is regularly referred to in his paintings. Kuddtji Kng-

ting style with one that used densely applied paint to create

warreye has been represented in major international exhibi-

broad sweeps of colour on the canvas. This imagery created

tions and has gained world wide recognition for his traditional

something similar to the western landscape plane, and the

depictions of his ancestral Dreamings.

paintings were romantic images of his country, concentrating

Story Kudditji Kngwarreye paints aerial views of his country that re-

paintings were romantic images of his country, accentuating

flect the changing seasons as well as the areas of spiritual

the colour and form of the landscape including the depth

significance. Kudditji is a very senior Iawman and an Elder for

of the sky in the wet season and in the reds and oranges of

the Ammatyerre speaking people from Utopia which is situa-

the shimmering summer heat. These ground-breaking pain-

ted some 270 km north east of Alice Springs in Central Aust-

tings expressed Kudditji‘s extensive knowledge and love of his

ralia. Using his unrivalled and unique knowledge of his coun-

country in a way never seen before.

try, Kudditji began to experiment with the synthetic polymer paint to eradicate the pointillist style altogether and to use a heavily loaded paint brush to sweep broadly across the canvas in stages, similar to the westem landscape plane, these


My Country Acrylic on Linen 120 x 180 cm 2008


My Country 52

Acrylic on Canvas 138 x 58 cm 2007


My Country 54

Synthetic Polymer on Linen 120 x 90 cm 2005


My Country 56

Acrylic on Linen 60 x 60 cm x 4 2010


Liddy Napanangka Walker Liddy Napanangka Walker is a Warlpiri woman born in the 1930s. Part of the senior women artists who have been described as the “Painting Divas from the Desert”. Her work reflects the vibrant colours and textures used in the Yuendumu region. Mt Theo is Liddy’s father‘s country. Liddy paints her father Japangardi‘s Dreaming and her grandfather‘s Dreaming. She regularly visits her country around Mt Theo and west of Yuendumu. She has lived in Yuendumu, a Warlpiri community in the Tanami 300 km Northwest of Alice Springs, since it was first established and has worked in the community in various pastoral care roles including as a cook. She started painting on canvas not long after Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Association was established and is now one of its most senior members. Liddy Napanangka Walker has been exhibiting artwork since 1985 throughout Australia and around the world.

Story The main motif of this painting depicts the Wakirlpirri tree. A sweet drink is made from this plant. Boomerangs, dancing boards for ceremony and other implements are made from this wood. This Dreaming travels from Jarrarda-Jarrayi through to Puturlu (Mt Theo) west of Yuendumu.The Dreaming belongs to Japanangka and Japangardi men, Napanangka and Napangardi women.

Wakiripirri Jukurrpa 58

Acrylic on Canvas 122 x 107 cm 2006


Mary Anne Nampijinpa MICHAELS Region: Nyirripi, Northern Territory Art Centre: Warlukurlangu Artists Language: Warlpiri „One of the standouts from this exhibition is Mary Anne Nampijinpa Michaels. The way she thickly lays on the paint and drags it quickly around the canvas (as opposed to a more traditional dotting technique) produces fluid and powerful works. Michaels‘s confidence is derived not so much from the medium, but from knowing her stories and her place in (and of) the land.“ Excerpt taken from „ Desert stories just the beginning“, Sydney Morning Herald, February 28, 2007.

Story This painting depicts designs associated with the soakage water site of Pulinyanu, which is slightly north of the Nyirrpi Community. In ancestral times, a group of women of the Nampitjinpa and Nangala kinship subsections, gathered at this site to perform the dances and sing the songs associated with the area. The women are represented in the painting by the ‘U’ shapes, while the roundels in the work represent the soakage waters at the site. While in this area the women collected witjirrki (wild iig) from nearby trees. They also gathered wood for making wana (digging sticks). Upon completion of the ceremonies at Pulinyanu the women continued their travels east.

MN 06111222 60

Acrylic on Canvas 91 x 61 cm 2006


Ningura Napurrula Ningura Napurrula Gibson was born around 1938 at Watulka

Ningura Napurrula participated in an initial Papunya Tula Ar-

in Western Australia, south of the modern Kiwirrkura communi-

tists exhibition in 1996 and she has been featured in several

ty, Ningura Napurrula moved to Papunya in the early days of

group shows in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin in 1999. She

the settlement with her husband. She is the widow of Yala Yala

had her first solo exhibition with William Mora Aboriginal Art

Gibbs Tjungurrayi, a highly respected Pintupi elder who held

in 2000, and participated in the impressive Kintore Women‘s

significant knowledge of his countries Dreaming stories.

Painting for the Papunya Tula retrospective at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

In 1996 she was part of a group of elderly women from Kintore and Kiwirrkura who began painting for Papunya Tula Artists in their own right. Characteristic of her work is a strong dynamism and rich linear design-compositions created with heavy layers of Acrylic paint.

Story The roundel in the centre of this painting depicts the rockhole

The small red circles represent pura (bush tomato), from the

and soakage water site of Ngaminya, slightly south-west of the

plant Solanum chippendalei, which the women also collec-

Kiwirrkura Conununity in Western Australia In ancestral times a

ted. The women later continued their travels north-east to Wir-

group of women travelled to this site from further west, gathe-

rul, Walkalkarra and Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay).

ring at Ngaminya to perform the dances and sing the songs associated with the area. They also spun hair-string with which to make nyimparra (hairstring skirts), which are worn during these ceremonies. The comb-like shapes in this painting depict the nyimparra. While at the site the women also gathered the edible berries known as kampurarrpa, or desert raisin, from the small shrub Solanum centrale. These berries can be eaten straight from the bush, but are sometimes ground into a paste and cooked in the coals to form a type of damper. The small black circles in this painting represent the kampurarrpa.


NN 0611145 Acrylic on Linen 61 x 55 cm 2006


TJUNKIYA NAPALTJARRI Tjunkiya was born around 1927: the main biographical refe-

Although they may be used as terms of address, they are not

rence work for the region gives a date of circa 1927; while the

surnames in the sense used by Europeans. Thus ‚Tjunkiya ‚ is

Art Gallery of New South Wales suggests circa 1930. The am-

the element of the artist‘s name that is specifically hers.

biguity around the year of birth is in part because Indigenous Australians operate using a different conception of time, often

A Pintupi speaker, Tjunkiya was born in the area northwest of

estimating dates through comparisons with the occurrence

Walungurru (known as Kintore, Northern Territory), near the

of other events.

Western Australian border, and west of Alice Springs), after which her family moved to Haasts Bluff. She became second

‚Napaljarri‘ (in Warlpiri) or ‚Napaltjarri‘ (in Western Desert dia-

wife to Toba Tjakamarra, father of one of the prominent found-

lects) is a skin name, one of sixteen used to denote the sub-

ers of the Papunya Tula art movement, Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula.

sections or subgroups in the kinship system of central Australian Indigenous people.

At Haasts Bluff she had ten children: these included sons Billy Rowe and Riley Rowe, both of whom painted for Papunya Tula,

These names define kinship relationships that influence prefer-

and daughter Mitjili (born c. 1948), who married Long Tom Tja-

red marriage partners and may be associated with particular

panangka and went on to paint at Haasts Bluff. From Haasts


Bluff the family moved to Papunya and in 1981 to Kintore.

Story This painting depicts designs associated with the rockhole site of Umari, situated in sandhill country east of Mt Webb in Westem Australia. The lines in the painting represent the puli (rocky outcrops) and tali (sandhills) surrounding the site. A number of women gathered at Umari to perform ceremonies. The women, one of the Nangala kinship subsection and the others of the Napaltjarri kinship subsection, later travelled towards the east. One of the stories associated with the area concerns a relationship between man of the Tjakamarra kinship subsection and a woman of the Nangala kinship subsection. This is a mother-in-law relationship, which is taboo in Aboriginal culture.


TN 0511220 Acrylic on Linen 91 x 91 cm 2005


Wendy Darby Wendy darby was born in Port Hedland and grew up in the

man at Yandeyarra. They subsequently moved to Roebourne

bush community at Yadeyerra, a cattle station belonging to

and have three children. Wendy enjoys learning new tech-

her people just outside Pt Hedland. In the early years Wen-

niques and quickly adapts them to her own style. This is reflec-

dy lived a traditional life with her family, with the old people

ted in the ease with which she currently moves between sty-

teaching the young people all about the places, plants and

les. She enjoys a variety of techniques such as sponge, brush

animals of the area through their stories. Wendy says: “Through

work and dots to create her subtle artworks.

these stories I learnt all about my country - about bush medicine - how to collect this and that plant and how to use them

Generally Wendy prefers to use earth colours that are traditio-

for various ailments, as pastes or liquids to drink. I’ve been all

nal to her culture such as red oxide, yellow ochre and carbon

around there. Been everywhere. All the old people used to live

black, which are prevalent in the Pilbara area of Western Aus-

there and work at the station.

tralia. On occasion her use of bright colours, including vivid blues, captures another side of both Wendy’s personality and

I do my painting, I think about my country and what the old

of the coastal region of the Pilbara. Wendy quickly became

people taught me.” Wendy met her husband, Ricky Sandy, a

recognised for her subtle compositions of drifting colours and

Yindjibardi man, when he was a teenager working as a stock-

in 2007 was the over-all winner in the Cossack Art Award.

Story Wendy says of this painting: “This is my country. My grandpa-

If we were hunting goanna through the river sand and it went

rents, mother, father and family went hunting all over here loo-

over rocks and we lost its tracks, we would go up to higher

king for bush tucker.

ground to see where it was going. When I paint my country, I first paint the background of the painting in different patterns

As a child I would go walking through it with my mother and

of browns and reds, the colours of our ground. Then I paint

father looking for bush food. Everywhere, just walking through

the colours of the trees, plants and flowers against this back-

this beautiful country we call home, hunting for goanna, kan-


garoo and emu, into the sandy country where bush food was found, and to the rivers and soaks.

In this panting I have painted a river fiowing through our country - the Yule River. We catch lots of fish here.” Wendy paints

Our grandparents would look for bush medicine. The beau-

her country from an aerial perspective showing the patterns

ty of the wild flowers blossoming around the soaks and on

of colour and the variations of landscape as if looking down

the river banks of this desert land. This is my family country.

over the land.



Acrylic on Canvas 107 x 105 cm 2009


Wentja Napaltjarri Wentja Napaltjani was bom in the bush at Malparinga in the

through the use of intricate, finely-worked dots. This soft dotting

Gibson Desert, and grew up west of Kintore in her father‘s

technique is characteristic of many of the Mt Liebig women

country. Wentja, who is the daughter of one of the founders of

artists with whom she paints at Watiyawanu Arts Centre.

the Papunya Tula desert painting movement, Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi, has been painting all of her life.

Wentja‘s palette reflects the warm colours of the central desert country. Wentja is a highly individual artist little influenced

Her first paintings were collaborative, helping out the men in

by other painters working around her and has developed a

the family with their work. While they painted the stories or ico-

distinctive and consistent style characterized by subtle vari-

nographic elements, Wentja did the in-flll dottlng, characteris-

ations in colour and texture. She loves to paint and works for

tic of the Pintupi desert artists.

many hours each day squatting on the concrete on the front porch of her house, surrounded by family and pet dingoes.

Wentja‘s own career began when she created her first paintings for Watiyawanu Artists at Amunturrngu. Since that time

The dingoes get whacked off the canvas each time they stray

Wentja has achieved high recognition for her work and in

onto it with a long stick kept handy for this purpose. Wentja

2002 she was a Finalist in the Telstra National Aboriginal and

lives at Mt Liebig with her husband, Ginger Tjakamarra (son

Torres Strait Islander Art Award. The main subjects for Wentja‘s

of well known artist Makinti Napanangka), and with her sons.

paintings are Blue Tongue Lizard and Water Dreaming stories,

She has three sisters who are also well known artisls - Wentja,

handed down from her father. Wentja‘s paintings are less geo-

Tjunkiya, and Linda Syddick.

metric than her father‘s and show a softening of iconography

Story In this painting Wentja depicts her father, Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi’s country, west of Kintore, and it relates back to the time when Shorty, Wentja and the family were living a traditional nomadic lifestyle. It has been painted as an aerial view, in the tradition of ancient sand drawings. For indigenous people, the word ‘country‘ means a place plus the Dreamings associated with its origins. This image, therefore, represents more than just a map to the artist; it is also about the ancestral history and spirit of that country and the Dreamings, or Tjukurrpa, for which the artist has responsibilities.

Rockholes West of Kintore


Acrylic on Linen 92 x 92 cm 2009


GRACIE WARD NAPALTJARRI Gracie Ward is the daughter of George Ward Tjungurrayi and was born at Papunya in 1973 just after the western desert indigenous art movement started. As a baby, Gracie moved to Docker River and later to Warakurna where she commenced her schooling. Gracie started to paint in 2004 and was taught to paint by George and her mother Nyungawarra Ward Napurrula. She originally adopted a typical Pintupi dot painting approach using a restrained palette inspired by the colours of her father‘s homelands. In an exciting new development in late 2009, Gracie started to experiment with a much bolder palette. Her works have progressed to an exciting new level. Together with Esther Bruno Nangala, Gracie represents an exciting view of the future of desert art. Gracie Ward Napaltjarri has a son and two daughters and spends her time between Warakurna and Alice Springs.

Story Muntati is the women’s site that Gracie’s paternal grandmother was custodian of. Gracie paints the creeks, rocky outcrops and mountains and sand hills of the site as well as the movement of the women through the country to Muntati where they performed ceremonies before travelling onwards. Typical of much aboriginal art, whilst some of the iconography Gracie uses, such as that representing rock holes, is directly referable to a specific landform, much is abstract or has multiple meanings.

Muntati - My Grandmother´s Country


Acrylic on Linen 90 x 60 cm 2010


Jeannie Mills Pwerl Being one of Mbantua Gallery’s nurtured younger artists, it is

In 2008, Jeannie’s large Anaty painting was accepted in the

exciting to see Jeannie develop into an established and ta-

2008 NATSIAA, the most prestigious Aboriginal art award in

lented artist. It is an exhilarating chapter for her as she spear-

Australia. Cheerful and good spirited, Jeannie has close family

heads through to the future, as part of the next generation of

connections to some of Australia’s top names in art. Her mo-

Aboriginal artists keeping the culture and tradition alive for

ther is well known Utopian artist Dolly Mills and her uncle the

generations to come.

late Greeny Purvis, a successful entrant in the 215‘ NATSIAA.

Although initially shy, Jeannie is open and emits a pride in her

Her great aunt is the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye, dubbed by

work and teaching about elements of the bush. When she

art experts as one of the world’s best modem and abstract ar-

smiles and laughs, it is truly genuine and friendly.

tists. It is quite evident that through these influences that Jeannie began to paint, bringing her own style and dynamic to the

Until recently, Jeannie lived not too far from the Utopia Clinic in

world of Aboriginal Art. Paintings by Jearmie predominately re-

a camp which was named “Jeannie’s camp” by the people,

present the flower and seeds of the Anaty (desert yam or bush

clearly giving the impression of the respect and leadership

potato), which she enjoys collecting in her homeland.

she has amongst them. Jeannie is also a ngangker (traditional healer or doctor) where she says she was taught of the

Jearmie’s distinct style for her story was created in 2004 for

ancient bush medicines by her father and makes some that

Mbantua Gallery and its captivating energy has thrust her

can be used by all in Utopia for free.

ame throughout Galleries nationwide.

Story Jeannie paints the Anaty (Desert Yam or Bush Potato, Ipomoea

potato. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is still a staple food

costata) story from her father’s country, Irrwelty in Alyawarr

for the desert aborigines where it can be harvested at any

land North East of Alice Springs. This yam grows underground

time of the year.

with its viny shrub growing above ground up to 1 metre high. It is normally found on spinifex sand plains and produces large

Some can be found as big as a person’s head. In this painting,

pink flowers after summer rain. The anaty is a tuber, or swol-

Jeannie depicts the seed of the anaty (dot work), the anaty

len root of the shrub and tastes much like the common sweet

and its flower (brush work).



Acrylic on Canvas 90 x 45 cm x 2 2010


MIRDIDINGKINGATHI JUWARNDA SALLY GABORI Born and raised on the remote Bentinck Island off the coast of

„Her tribal name is Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda. Juwarnda

Queensland circa 1924, she was moved to Mornington Island

means dolphin, which is her totemic sign, and Mirdidingkinga-

by Methodist missionaries in 1948. Almost from the moment

thi means born at Mirdidingki, in her country on the south side

she picked up a paintbrush. Gabori was recognised as one of

of Bentinck Island” says linguist Nicholas Rollo David Evans,

the leading lights of recent Indigenous painting. She has now

who has worked in the region.

held five solo shows and been included in group exhibitions in Singapore, Seoul, Auckland and Darwin.

She lived a completely traditional life, with practically no contact with non-Kaiadilt people, fishing and gathering shellfish

In 2007 alone, she held two solo shows at Alcaston Gallery in

and vegetable foods, and maintaining the stonefish walls

Melbourne and exhibited in 2008 and 2009 at the Tim Melvil-

around the shores of Bentinck Island.

le Gallery in Auckland. She has also become something of a star in the awards system, becoming a finalist in the Western Australian Indigenous Art Award, the Togart Contemporary Art Award, the Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, the Xstrata Coal Emerging Indigenous Artist Award and the ABN AMRO Emerging Artist Award. She was also included in the 2009 Korean International Art Fair.

Story Sally Gabori began painting in 2005 at the Mornington Island

A closer look, the country, colour and minds eye combine to

Art. Her immediate love of paint and the full spectrum of co-

impart to the viewer a real and intimate sense of who Sally

lour offered to her, triggered an outpouring of ideas including

Gabori is and where she is from.

depicting her country and her ancestral stories. Whilst her works are immediately recognised as abstraction, her fascina-

„This is my country on Bentinck Island. It is a mangrove swamp.“

tion with colour seems as significant as the content itself.

Sally Gabori.

My Country


Synthetic Polymer on Linen 151 x 101 cm 2009


GORDON SYRON Often described as the pioneer of Urban Aboriginal Art, Gor-

Gordon Syron is a Biripi / Worimi man known for his political

don Syron taught himself to paint while serving a ten-year sen-

and historical oil paintings. He is a self-taught artist who has

tence at Bathurst gaol in the 1970s. A defender of Aboriginal

carved himself a remarkable career which has influenced his

people’s rights to look after their own culture, he uses his art

peers in the artistic, political and cultural arenas.

to expose the exploitation of his people since European colonisation. Syron doesn’t paint dots - he paints the strugg-

The extent of syron‘s work was seen in two retrospectives, the

le of Aboriginal people. In his major work, “Judgement by his

first in 1998 and again in 2004 at the Australian Museum, Syd-

Peers”, painted in 1978 while in prison, Syron shows the failure

ney. In 2000 he was the artist-in-residence for the International

of the criminal justice system to deliver justice to indigenous

Australian Humanist Society. In 2004 two of Gordon’s paintings


were chosen to be displayed at the Athen’s Olympics: and then toured to Beijing to be displayed at the 2008 Olympics.

Gordon has made many significant contributions to his community, as co-founder of the Eora College with Bobby Merritt, he was also the first art teacher there. He was the president of the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee in the late 90s. From 1997 to 2007 his gallery, Black Fella‘s Dreaming supported and encouraged new, young and struggling artists.

Story This is a beautiful forest where Aboriginal spirits live and look

grow anymore. When I was young I could lean off my horse

after the land and Aboriginal people. This is old Minimbah

and in seconds have an armful of breathtakingly beautiful

Land where Grandma used to live. It is Crown Land and my

wildflowers, I wouldn‘t even have to pick them. This land was

father‘s name, Robert John Syron is on the map.

sacred to me that is why I chose to paint about it.

This land is near to the old Coroborree Grounds. The mining


companies came through this area and took a foot-deep of top soil off thousands of acres of land. They took all the elements and goodness out of the soil. Now the wildflowers don‘t

Self Portrait


Oil on Canvas 102 x 82 cm 2010


Roy McIvor Roy McIvor is a highly respected elder of the Hopevale com-

explored through contemporary painting and dynamic ap-

munity north of Cooktown and a member of the Guugu

proaches to colour manipulation and composition.

Yimithirr language group. He is Chairperson of the Arts and Cultural Centre at Hopevale and has been instrumental in its

He was born at Cape Bedford Mission in 1934 and later mo-

development. Roy has been developing his own contempora-

ved to Spring Hill. Both were Lutheran sites north of Cooktown

ry art career for many years.

in Far North Queensland. In 1942, his family and the Cape Bedford Community were forcibly removed from the mission

In 2006, the Australia Council awarded Roy a grant to produce

by the military to Woorabinda, near Rockhampton.

a new body of work for his exhibition at the Cairns Regional Gallery. Prior to this, he had twice won the Cape York Arts prize

Roy spent the final years of his formal schooling in Woora-

and his work has been included in Story Place, Gatherings

binda. He recalls being inspired by the wife of a teacher, Mrs

and other leading group exhibitions and publications show-

Jarrett. She was always complimenting and supportive of his

casing the works of Queensland artists. His work is also held in

artistic ability and was a artist herself.

the collection of state art galleries and museums. McIvor has made some significant innovations with his work since recei-

Mrs Jarrett had said to Roy, „I hope you keep doing art,“ and

ving the Australia Council grant.

these words were the springboard into a life time interest and working in art for Roy. His curiosity and explorative nature have

While the artist maintains a strong link to the realm of traditi-

been expressed in the development of his artwork. Roy has

onal symbols and stories, at the same time he incorporates

experimented with many techniques and concepts for over

contemporary stories into his repertoire.These narratives are

40 years, leaving him with a truly unique Indigenous style.

Story These recent paintings consolidate a life‘s repertoire of inspiration. They recall the emotional feeling he experienced when he first saw the cave art that is all around his Binthi homelands. „In Gugu Yimithirr language we call it Wawu - spiritual satisfaction. It is like an affirmation of perfect balance and wholeness.“ From the series „WHERE THE WILDFLOWERS ONCE GREW‘

Dynamic Order #5


Synthetic Polymer on Canvas 120 x 90 cm 2009


Sarrita King Sarrita King was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1988, the

Stylistically, Sarrita King uses traditional Aboriginal techniques

younger sister of fellow artist Tarisse King, and daughter of the

and iconography incorporating alone with them unorthodox

highly regarded late artist, William King Jungala (1966 - 2007).

techniques inherited from her father, as well as techniques de-

Sarrita inherits her Australian Aboriginality from her father, a

veloped through her own practice. Sarrita King‘s art, a fusion

Gurindji man from the Northern Territory. The Gurindji came to

of the past and present and a projection towards the future,

public attention during the 1960s and 1970s when they led a

represents the next generation of artists who have been influ-

landmark case at Wave Hill cattle station which became the

enced both by their indigenous history and their current Wes-

first successful land rights claim in Australia. This same strong

tern upbringing.

sense of self and pride fuels Sarrita King in her drive to paint her totemic landscape.

Sarrita King paints in Adelaide in a studio she shares with her sister. She has been included in over 20 exhibitions, is represen-

Sarrita grew up in Darwin in the Northern Territory, where her

ted in galleries in every Australian state, included in many high

connections to her Aboriginality and her land were nurtured.

profile Australian and international art collections, and her

Experiences of extreme weather and primal landscape have

work has been successful at auction in Paris at Art Curial.

provided the artistic themes for her work from the time she began painting at sixteen. Sand hills, lightning, thunderstorms, torrential rain, fire and desert are among the environmental factors that shaped her forefather’s lives and also her own. In painting these elements, Sarrita provides her personal visual articulation of the earth’s language.

Story Sarrita’s minimalist composition of interweaving lines, broken

naturally, a waterhole, represented by the circle, in this case

but then tenuously re-connecting, evokes her themes of con-

coloured in red. The red lines leading to it represent the child’s

nectedness to the land and to consequence. The weaving

feeling that they are ‘nearly there’ - although this was not al-

lines represent the tapestry of landscape in its spiritual and

ways necessarily the case.

physical aspects, sometimes dense sometimes sparse. For Sarrita this series of paintings titled ‘Our Land’ is tied to happy memories of holidays spent with her paternal family travelling through their land with the ultimate destination being,

Our Land


Acrylic on linen 162 x 100 cm 2011


Mervyn Numbagardie Mervyn Numbagardie says: “I’m from Rama, Yinajarra and

Father Kevin McKelson went to pick Mervyn up from school,

Pujurrjartu. I was born in Wirritiny and grew up in Walmajar-

which he attended for only one year, and then he started

ri country and at Bikurangu (Johanna Springs) in Mangala

work at Kurlupariny Station. Mervyn was given the job of riding

Country, next to Wirtiwirgi my father’s country.’ Mervyn’s lan-

horses and working on the station, fixing the water tanks and

guage is Juwaliny, which is described as a softer dialect of the

windmills. Later he became expert at breaking in horses and

Walmajarri language.

training young men in the tasks of horse-breaking and riding.

“When I was a young boy, we used to travel around from Rama

Mervyn Numbagardie is married with two daughters and two

to Bikurangu (Johanna Springs) with all the families to meet

grandsons. He lives at Bidyadanga Community. He began

other relatives. And other family groups used to come from

painting around 2005, re-creating the waterholes and traditio-

their clan countries all the way to Bikurangu to visit. When eve-

nal desert homelands of his childhood.

rything was finished, we all went back home, walking through the same way we came. Then we went back to Wirtiwilgi and that‘s when I lost my Grandfather there.” Mervyn lived around his father’s country on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert before coming through Anna Plains Station to La Grange Mission, now known as Bidyadanga Community.

Story Mervyn Numbagardie states: “I‘m from Rama, Yinajarra and

People came from south, north and east to this waterhole Wir-

Pujurrjartu. I was born in Wirritiny and grew up in Walmajar-

riwirlki. When I was a young boy we used to travel around all

ri country and at Bikurangu (Johanna Springs). That is all in

this country, going from waterhole to waterhole, getting food

Mangala Country next to Wirtiwlrgi, my fathefs country.

all around, moving with the family. We would gather with all the other families and meet with relatives.”

In this painting, Wiliwilgi, there is a waterhole surrounded by sand dunes (jilji) near a place called Wirrlwirki. My father died near this place. The hills are called Kulkumirnti and we used to hunt around these hills with my family.



Acrylic on canvas 115 x 115 cm 2011


Jorna Newberry Jorna Newberry is a Pitjantjatjara artist, was born around 1959

Over recent years she has worked closely alongside her le-

at Angus Downs. Jorna divides her time between Warakurna,

gendary uncle, Tommy Watson. She follows his instruction to

lrrunytju and Alice Springs where she has family, living between

favour abstraction as a stylistic mode to ensure secrecy of im-

the traditional culture of her indigenous background and a

portant cultural matters, rather than taking the more figurative

contemporary one. When visiting her lands she regularly goes

approach of the Papunya Tula artists.

bush with the women of her community for sacred ceremony, which is important to her as she has two daughters and wants

She says: ‚Tommy has had a big influence on me. He teaches

to pass this knowledge on to them.

me to be respectful in the way I paint.‘

lf she goes camping for several days she will hunt for kangaroo and goanna and collect bush tucker like berries, witchety grubs and honey ants. Jornas‘ style is abstract and layered to ensure secrecy of important cultural matters. Working With Uncle Tommy Watson, She Developed Her Own Style Jorna began painting in mid 199O‘s at Warakurna, creating work for casual collectors. Later she joined the lrrunytju arts centre and started painting for this group.

Story WalpaTjukurpa (Wind Dreaming) relates to her mother’s coun-

She explains that wind also helps in hunting as being down

try at Utantja, a large stretch of sacred ceremonial land that

wind from animals makes it easy to hunt successfully. ln pain-

has hilly country and a large rock hole where many people

ting this story Jorna uses a very vibrant palette with circles and

come from time to time to paint up, dance and do ceremony.

lines to describe the movement of the wind and its eddies as

lt is country filled with kangaroos, camels, rock wallabies and

its size gets bigger and bigger.

birds. „The wind ceremony forms winds... creates air to cool the lands...“

Ngayuku ngura


Acrylic on canvas 150 x 90 cm 2011


Alma Nungurrayi Granites Born into a family of great painters, Alma Nungurrayi Granites

Jukurra, the morning star, is a Jakamarra man who was in love

is a Warlpiri woman who lives at and works at Yuendumu and

with the seven sisters, and chased them across the night sky.

is known for her majestical renderings of the night sky. Alma is

In a final attempt to escape from him, the sisters turned them-

custodian of the Seven Sisters Dreaming. This cluster of seven

selves into fire and ascended to the heavens to become stars.

stars which comprise the constellation Taurus, known also The

Her work has been successfully placed in the Holmes a Court

Pleiades, represents seven sisters of the Napaljarri skin group.

Collection, the Burkhardt-Felder Museum of Switzerland and the ARTCOL Collection of Seattle.

Story The Napaljarri-warnu Jukurrpa (seven sisters Dreaming) de-

This ceremony tells of the journey of Japaljarri and Jungarrayi

picts the story of the seven ancestral Napaljarri sisters who are

men who travelled from Kurlurngalinypa (near Lajamanu) to

found in the night sky today in the cluster of seven stars in the

Yanjirlypirri (west of Yuendumu) and then on to Lake Mackay

constellation Taurus, more commonly known as the Pleiades.

on the West Australian border. Along the way they performed ‘kurdiji’ (initiation ceremonies) for young men. Women also

The Pleiades are seven women of the Napaljarri skin group

danced for the ‘kurdiji’. The site depicted in this canvas is Yan-

and are often depicted in paintings of this Jukurrpa carrying

jirlypiri (star) where there is a low hill and a water soakage.

the Jampijinpa man ‘wardilyka’ (the bush turkey [Ardeotis australias]) who is in love with the Napaljarri-warnu and who

The importance of this place cannot be overemphasized as

represents the Orion‘s Belt cluster of stars. Jukurra-jukurra, the

young boys are brought here to be initiated from as far as

morning star, is a Jakamarra man who is also in love with the

Pitjanjatjara country to the south and Lajamanu to the north.

seven Napaljarri sisters and is often shown chasing them ac-

ln contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is

ross the night sky.

used to represent the Jukurrpa, associated sites and other elements.

In a final attempt to escape from the Jakamarra the Napaljarri-warnu turned themselves into fire and ascended to the hea-

Often depicted in paintings for this Jukurrpa is the female star

vens to become stars. The custodians of the Napaljarri-warnu

Yantarlarangi (Venus - the Evening Star) who chases the se-

Jukurrpa are Japaljarri/Jungarrayi men and Napaljarri/Nun-

ven Napaljarri sisters for having stolen the night from her.

garrayi women. Some parts of the Napaljarri-warnu Jukurrpa are closely associated with men’s sacred ceremonies; Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa (Star Dreaming)

Star Dreaming


Acrylic on canvas 183 x 61 cm 2011


Nyree NGARI Reynolds Nyree ( Ngari ) Reynolds was born in 1948 in Wollongong, New

The works evoke a sense of loss and heartbreak. Nyree has

South Wales and belongs to the Gamilaraay language group.

shown through her work that she is a strong story teller and

She is a Certificate 4 in Workplace Training and Assessment

is able to more than capably get her message across to the

trainer as well as an experienced art tutor based in the Cen-

viewer.’ The use of red ochre from Mudgee features strongly in

tral West of NSW who has and continues to facilitate art work-

the figures in Nyree’s work and the majority of her paintings

shops for disabled adults; people with mental health issues; in

contain sand from the Illawarra, which connects her with her

drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres, with Indigenous and


non-Indigenous children; youth at risk as well as with the Aboriginal offenders at Bathurst Correctional Centre. She also taught Aboriginal art at Bathurst and Orange TAFE campuses. Nyree’s paintings depicting the Aboriginal children of the Stolen Generations have been described thus…’in these ephemeral and quite beautiful works, the figures float surreal across the vivid Australian outback.

Story This painting tells part of the story of the ‘Bringing Them Home: Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families ( 1997 )’. It’s 10 years since this report was brought down and there are still countless stories out there of Aboriginal people who were affected by their being taken from their families. This painting shows three young Gamillaroi girls from the Stolen Generations walking together towards the Warrumbungle Mountains which is their Belonging Country.

Bringing them home


Acrylic and natural ochre on canvas 60 x 61 cm 1997


Story This painting shows the girls from the Stolen Generations walking together, walking proudly, no longer being classed as flora or fauna due to the result of the 1967 Referendum which gave Aboriginal People the same rights as white Australians. The girls are wearing natural ochre on their foreheads as part of Ceremony and the lead girl is carrying gum leaves which is an example of flora that the People once were. One of our friends says her Grandmother used to be a tree, as was my Grandmother and all our ancestors after the Invasion and before the 1967 Referendum. 40 years later there is still a lot of healing to be done.

No longer flora


Acrylic and natural ochre on canvas 75 x 100 cm 2007


Story The young Stolen Generations children of the Wiradjuri Nation are led by their big sister out of the suppression of their past to the hopeful light of their new future due to the Day of the Apology, 13th February, 2008. They are daring to hope.

From the storm of their past to the light of their future


Acrylic and natural ochre on canvas 65 x 89 cm 2009


Story The young dance teacher is listening .... within the breeze she

Invasion, the halt to The Knowledge, the end of their world as

can hear the voices of the Elders from years past telling her

they knew it. Nothing would ever be the same again. But now,

stories of the dance, telling her stories of her people. She can

quietly and with hope the Knowledge is slowly returning to the

pass these stories of the dance to the little ones who when

Aboriginal People.

they are grown will pass them on to their little ones, thereby perpetuating the knowledge of the most ancient culture on

The Elder prepares the gum leaves for sweeping and clearing


the ground before the dance, then the young teacher can begin her work with the young ones. The grasses in the fore-

The six elders in the background represent 10,000 years

ground are the same grasses that can be found where my

each...60,000 years of Aboriginal culture, Aboriginal know-

Aboriginal ancestor was born near Gilgandra in western NSW.

ledge, Aboriginal Dreaming. Then there is the gap where the-

This painting encompasses the Then and the Now. The Elders

re should be an Elder, but there is not. This gap signifies the

Knowing and the Elders Showing.

Elders Knowing – Elders Showing; Children Watching – Children Learning


65 x 89 cm Acrylic and natural ochre on canvas 2009


Story The Spirit of the Elder watches the inner child of the Aboriginal

The young fella on the right mentoring from strong Aboriginal

people who are finally returning home after being taken many

men ... he´ll do it. Kids ... you can all do it !!! You are strong

years before from home and Country by Government policy.

Aboriginal women and men.

She watches over each and every one and loves them dearly. They want to establish who they are, they want to embrace their culture that they were not allowed to acknowledge. The young boy in the foreground needs good role models, he is floundering ... who is he ... where can he find his own place? The girls will have less difficulty ... they look on their future with more confidence.

Welcome home, little travellers


90 x 90 cm Acrylic and natural ochre on silk canvas 2011


Story Protection

Sunset in Cowra country

The two young sisters look at the storm as it travels around the

The five Wiradjuri children from the Erambie Mission in Cowra

afternoon sky. It is in the distance, doen´t look like it will come

simply ask Why? Why, just because our skin was lighter did you

their way so they feel safer.

think it was not right for us to be brought up in the way of our Ancestors. We have lost so much with that policy.

The storm is like their lives, the Aboriginal children of mixed blood didn´t ever know when it was their turn to be be taken from family and Country. The storm of removal would touch randomly but with devastating consequences.

Protection 48 x 44 cm Acrylic and natural ochre on silk canvas 2011

Sunset in Cowra Country 43 x 48 cm Acrylic and natural ochre on silk canvas 2011



DAWN NGALA WHEELER Over the last two decades, a group of Aranda women at Her-

The pottery thrived, becoming a source of revenue for the

mannsburg (120 kms west of Alice Springs) have established

community and an important form of traditional and modern

a dynamic and original form of ceramic art. It is an artform

expression for the local people. Since then, Hermannsburg

that draws upon craft traditions, and also upon the potters‘ re-

pots have made their way into national and international coll-

sponses to their landscape. The artists are particularly interes-


ted in portraying their local flora and fauna. Their work is also nourished by the tradition of the Hermannsburg watercolour painters – Albert Namatjira and his followers. The Indigenous women of Hermannsburg, including Dawn Ngala Wheeler, have created a distinctive style of terra cotta vessels decorated with small figures of animals, birds and plants as well as painted scenes and motifs from the local region. The pottery was established in 1990 when Aboriginal Pastor Ungwanaka, recalling the sale of clay figures to visitors in the 1950s, encouraged the local people to revisit their interest in modelling with a view to creating a viable industry.

Story The spectacular and characteristic form that the Hermannsburg potters have developed combines a handbuilt pot, decorated with imagery vigourously painted in underglaze, with a boldly sculptured lid. This pot depicts the ramhya (lizard) which lives in the bush surrounding Hermannsburg.



Handcrafted, terracotta clay, underglaze 32 x 24 cm 2006


Raycast Visuals Photos & Layout by Maris Stoeppler


Aboriginal Artbook  

by Dieter and Lilian Schmidt

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