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Aboriginal Art News is a free news resource to promote and encourage education of Australian Aboriginal art.Submitted: Apr 10, 2010 - 7:10 PM
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THE LATE N. NAPURRULA by on Thu, 28 Nov 2013 16:18:29 +1000:“Papunya Tula Artists are sad to announce the passing of N Napurrula on 11th November. As many would know, Napurrula was a dialysis patient for many years at the 'Purple House', the Western Desert Dialysis unit established in Kintore so that old people need not need leave their community. PTA would like to thank the Purple House staff for supporting Napurrula while she was receiving treatment and also for the enormous amount of additional palliative care they provided.
“Napurrula was one of the company's most high profile artists and was dearly loved by her family as well as all the staff here at PTA. She has left us with some wonderful memories and a countless number of extraordinary paintings”.
Napurrula was the classic case of a Desert woman artist. She was born about 1938 in the desert south of Kiwirrkura in WA. In her 20s she married the late great Yala Yala Gibbs, one of the founders of the Papunya Tula movement; they moved in and out of settlements as health and drought affected their family, but settled in Papunya in 1963. He began painting in 1971 and was one of the 'inventors' of the [i]Tingari [/i]
painting style – a mosaic of concentric circles and connecting lines which supplanted the more revelatory secret/sacred work that came to be criticised by more spiritual tribesmen.
By 1974, the family had moved out of Papunya for Yayayi on their way West into the Pintupi heartland. Napurrula was undoubtedly Yala Yala's helpmate in his elegant dotting. And by 1995, she'd joined the famous Haasts Bluff/Kintore Women's Painting Camp to begin a solo career for herself. Just as white infilling had dominated the last stage of Gibbs' painting, so Napurrula opted for countless variations on black, white and ochred brown for much of her distinctive work.
Highlights of her career since then were her selection amongst the 8 Indigenous to be built into the new Quai Branly Museum in Paris – they chose a large and intense work -[i]"Women's Story"[/i]
- simply in black and white painted in deep impasto over a red base coat which serves to enrich the work's over-painting.
She was also chosen to have an artwork represented on an Australia Post international stamp in 2003. And in 2007 and 2008, Australian Art Collector magazine credited Napurrula with being one of the 50 most collectible artists in the country.
Napurrula's work has been bought by most of the major institutions in the country ever since her first solo exhibition with William Mora Galleries in 2000. She also bore one son out in the Desert, and four more children – two sons and two daughters - in Papunya.
[url=http://www.papunyatulaartists.com]Papunya Tula Artists[/url]
NAMATJIRA IN LONDON by on Thu, 28 Nov 2013 09:11:34 +1000:The third generation of the Namatjira family water-colour artists from Hermannsburg - Kevin and Lenie Namatjira - yesterday had a private audience with the Queen at Buck House in London. This follows the presentation of their grandfather and an example of his work to the Queen when she toured Australia in 1954.
This is all a spin-off project from the big '[i]Australia[/i]
' art exhibition at the Royal Academy. It incorporates the theatrical biography, '[i]Namatjira[/i]
' created by Scott Rankin from the pioneering Big hART company working with the Namatjira family over 5 years, and gives yet another starring role to actor Trevor Jamieson. That's playing at the Purcell Room on the South Bank this week. Both of the Namatjira offspring create their landscapes reflecting their Arrernte country in the West Macdonnels on the walls of the theatre each night as the story is told.
And it involved an exhibition of 22 works art from the wider Hermannsburg clan – including Mervyn Rabuntja, Peter Taylor and young Elton Wirri, working with the Ngurratjuta Art Centre, being on show (and for sale) at the theatre.
Despite all these indications of busy art activity, Lenie Namatjira later (on [i]The Guardian's[/i]
website) made a plea for a new arts centre at Hermannsburg: "I gave her (the Queen) a painting, a present from my grandson Kevin and I, as well as a postcard from the kids in Hermannsburg, which they made for the occasion. And I told her the children have got to learn to paint like I once did, and that we need her help for this, to make our local art centre a good one. The government is working for her. She’s next to God, she looks after the nation, she can make this right.
"We want support from the government to start an arts centre in Alice Springs. We want more funding to support Aboriginal art centres so we can keep painting strong for generations. We want a place to sit together to come watch and learn how to paint – where anyone can come, and is welcome. Painting is how we make our money to look after our families, and it is hard to paint because we often don’t have our own place and no car to get out to the bush to paint our country.
"I am asking for art centre because we, the artists, want our own art centre so that no-one can control us – so we can own our own art. We want to be able to support our young ones and keep them strong and proud, so they can show their culture and country in their work. And we want them to start up before the rest of us get too old".
The Hermannsburg art display has been organised by the indefatigable Helen Read working from Darwin. These artworks can be viewed on her Palya Art website.
The artists will also be carrying out workshops at the Royal Academy – where the main exhibition continues until 8 December. From the catalogue, it appears that only cousin Otto Pareroultja has a work in '[i]Australia[/i]
'. But it seems that the ludicrous control over Albert Namatjira's copyright by a commercial organisation means that the two works by him in London can't be reproduced in the Royal Academy catalogue.
PADDY'S PLANE by on Tue, 26 Nov 2013 10:25:17 +1000:A fourth Qantas aircraft now has Indigenous designs on its body – this time the work of the late, great Paddy Goowoomji Bedford, leader of the Jirrawun group of Gija artists in the East Kimberley. The Boeing 737-800 aircraft is named “[i]Mendoowoorrji[/i]
” after the artist's 2005 painting, [i]Medicine Pocket[/i]
, a camping place on what became Bedford Downs Station – the place that gave Paddy his name.
The artwork was selected by Qantas from a group offered to them by the National Gallery in Canberra, then 18 months of negotiation took place with the Bedford Estate and the Balarinji Design company, which has experience of the tricky art of translating a two dimensional image to the tubular surface of a plane. The result is a lot more successful than the unhappy adaptation of a Bedford artwork in the Musee du quai Branly in Paris.
Offering a danced greeting to the plane with its new persona at Boeing's Seattle base were the artist's daughter Kathy Watson and other Gija elders, along with dealer William Mora who is an agent for the Trustees of the Bedford Estate. His comment on arrival in Sydney was that “the whole experience was very special, and we felt the Old Man looking down on us as we crossed the Pacific to bring his work home”.
“The Bedford family will benefit from a 10-year contract with Qantas regarding the artwork's copyright”, he continued; “but perhaps their pride in the exposure of his work is even more important”.
According to Gija linguist Frances Kofod's notes in the Museum of Contemporary Art catalogue for the Paddy Bedford Retrospective in 2007, [i]Medicine Pocket[/i]
was a sacred [i]ngarranggarni [/i]
place with 'living waters' before the white invasion of The Kimberley. It was part of Paddy's Mother's Dreaming – involving a story in which two men hit each other with sticks and became part of the country. Since Paddy's Mother's brothers had all died, he was entitled to paint this country.
I had the good fortune to accompany Bedford and Kofod on a helicopter tour of Paddy's personal and sacred sites – the notorious Bedford Downs Massacre, the Emu Dreaming on Mt King (where night and day were separated for the first time), and the sad place where his Mother's half-caste child by a station manager was drowned by disapproving Gija elders. “I'm so sorry for my brother”, he commented.
2005 was a rich time in Bedford's painting career with Jirrawun. Many bold, mostly black and white works emerged, though he also pioneered a smoky pink ground in the work,[i] Mad Gap (Gooweriny) [/i]
which reflected the dust and smoke of the Dry season, and was taken up by Paddy's great friend Rammey Ramsey in a marvellous series of canvases.
For the first time in Qantas’s 93 year history, the iconic Qantas tail has been incorporated in the design, with the airline’s trademark red tail colour behind the white kangaroo altered to match the earthy tones of Paddy Bedford’s art work. It was also the first time that brushes were used to paint the massive exterior of passenger jet.
” will fly to Broome and Canberra for promotional visits in coming weeks after it enters service for Qantas domestic. It will also operate east-west and intra WA flights as part of its regular scheduled services.
In celebration of the plane's re-birth, the William Mora Galleries in Richmond, Melbourne are showing an exhibition of Bedford's work that is held in his Estate. It closes on 7th December.
[url=http://www.moragalleries.com.au/]William Mora Galleries[/url]
Cultural Connection, Art and the Value of Life by on Mon, 25 Nov 2013 19:58:43 +1000:Through a series of strong and sometimes poignant interviews with Aboriginal elders from around Australia, [i]Culture is Life[/i]
(led by Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison, elder from the NSW South Coast) is bringing to light the high suicide rate among Indigenous Australian youth. The report, to be released in January 2014, is titled simply, [i]Elders' Report[/i]
According to [i]Culture is Life[/i]
, Indigenous youth suicide in the Northern Territory is 10 times higher than for non-Indigenous youth. And suicide has become the 2nd leading cause of death for Aboriginal men in the NT after cardiovascular disease.
More, in the Kimberley of Western Australia, there has been an average of one attempted suicide every week since the start of 2012.
Uncle Max is certain about the reason - that Indigenous youth are no longer practicing their culture and that they have disconnected from their homelands. "The lack of respect to the Elders and to the Mother (earth) are contributing factors," Uncle Max said.
"Strengthening Indigenous Youth back to the land and culture gives them a sense of connectedness to self, land and spirit.
"Natural healing comes from the land, it is pure and heals all people - your mind your body and spirit. It's not a poison from a bottle or packet from a chemist.
"Healing through the land, the Mother, heals all peoples. This is the means by which true reconciliation is achieved. Through the Mother Earth."
Given that connection is oftentimes seen through art, we will feature an interview with Aboriginal Elder and acclaimed artist, Banduk Marika (North East Arnhem Land) from the [i]Elders' Report[/i]
in the next few days.
In the meantime, please view the [url=http://www.cultureislife.org/]Culture is Life site[/url]
to support the campaign to end Indigenous self harm and youth suicide and share with your networks. For further information contact email@example.com.
DESERT RIVER SEA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR INDIGENOUS ART LEADERS by on Tue, 12 Nov 2013 06:23:55 +1000:From 11-15 November 2013 a group of 11 emerging Indigenous art leaders throughout the Kimberley region of Western Australia will gather in Perth for the Emerging Leaders Program, a week-long professional development program which is a core component of the [i]Desert River Sea: Kimberley Art Then & Now[/i]
[i]Desert River Sea: Kimberley Art Then & Now[/i]
is an Art Gallery of Western Australia initiative funded by the Rio Tinto Community Investment Fund.
The six-year initiative, announced in April 2013, involves documenting stories and art practices across the vast Kimberley region resulting in an extensive library of images and film interviews presented through the Desert River Sea website (to go live in March 2014), as well as through an exhibition.
AGWA Director, Stefano Carboni, says, "The Emerging Leaders Program allows individuals who have been identified as aspiring leaders within their art-making communities to come together in Perth for a week of professional development opportunities while also discussing ways in which they may be involved in Desert River Sea: Kimberley Art Then & Now. A key component of the six year project includes an online portal which the Gallery is currently developing. This online space will provide an overview of the Kimberley's cultural landscape and will grow as the project develops. Our goal is to provide people who want to learn more about the region and its artists with a place to get that information and celebrate the cultural diversity of the region."
The program and website are the result of consultation with young people based around the Kimberley, who have expressed a need for more engagement, communication and interaction with other artists and art workers in the region.
“Rio Tinto is a long-time supporter of Aboriginal arts and cultural expression in Western Australia,” said Andrew Harding chief executive, Rio Tinto Iron Ore and chair of the Community Investment Fund.
“This gathering is one of the first significant milestones of our six year $1.8 million partnership with the Gallery to deliver the ground-breaking Desert River Sea project.”
Leaders from across the Kimberley have been invited to participate in this week's events. Among them are:
Mark Nodea (Warmun Art Centre, Warmun Community);
Kenny Griffiths (Waringarri Art Centre, Kununurra);
Ben Ward (Waringarri Art Centre, Kununurra);
Jeanette Swan (Yarliyil Art Centre, Halls Creek);
Rachael Umbagai (Mowanjum Art and Culture Centre, Mowanjum Community);
Joseph Nugget (Mangkaja Arts Resource Centre, Fitzroy Crossing);
Natalie Hunter (Bidyagdanga Artists, Bidyadanga Community);
Daniel Walbidi (Yulparija Artists, Bidyadanga);
Ashley Hunter (Dampier Peninsula artist, One Arm Point Community);
Betty Bundamarra (Kira Kiro Art Centre, Kalumburu Community); and
Michael Torres (Goolarri Media and Broom photographic artist, Broome).
The project’s manager, Glenn Iseger-Pilkington, Associate Curator of Indigenous Objects and Photography at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, says, "These are the people who will educate others in their communities about Desert River Sea and its significance. There is a lot of work to be done over the next six years as the program develops and takes shape. The program is going to be an exciting opportunity for these influential leaders to gather information and network, taking back new ideas and opportunities directly into their communities.”
Desert River Sea: Kimberley Art Then & Now is a visual arts initiative led by the Art Gallery of Western Australia together with support by the Rio Tinto Community Investment Fund.
The six year project will document, survey and celebrate Kimberley Indigenous art, both contemporary and historical, focusing on established and emerging contemporary artists while paying tribute to those who have come before and have paved the way for future generations of artists.
The Gallery’s role in this exciting project is two-fold. Firstly, it is to collate and share the art and stories of the Kimberley that inform current and emerging arts practices in order to celebrate the region’s creativity and diversity through an online research portal and a major survey exhibition at the end of the project. Secondly, it is to nurture creativity and support artists and arts workers through the Emerging Leaders Program, which sees Indigenous artists and arts workers from across the Kimberley involved in the development of the project as it progresses, offering extended community networking and exposure to professional development opportunities.
Desert River Sea's Project Co-ordinator Chad Creighton will spend eighteen months in each of the Kimberley's areas cataloguing art styles, artist statements, artworks, and stories. The result will be a complete view of the Kimberley's rich artistic culture, available through the online research portal.
[url=http://www.Facebook.com/DesertRiverSea]Desert River Sea Facebook page[/url]
[url=http://www.Facebook.com/ArtGalleryWA]Art Gallery of WA Facebook page[/url]