2020 Sonia Kurarra

Mangkaja Arts
26 May - 20 June 2020

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Aboriginal & Pacific Art and Mangkaja Arts of Fitzroy Crossing present a new collection of paintings by Sonia Kurarra.

These recent works show an artist reaching new heights in their exploration of paint application and colour.  Sonia fearlessly combines mark making using acrylic pens and graffiti markers alongside paint lushly applied with her brush to create sensational contemporary paintings.

Sonia paints the sandy billabong country along the stretch of the Fitzroy River that runs directly behind the Yungngora (Noonkanbah) community, situated in a remote part of the West Kimberley Region of Western Australia. After the food waters recede, there are billabongs that hold a plentiful supply of parlka [barramundi], kurlumajarti [catish] and bream. She paints gapi [fish], parrmarr [rocks] where the Fish is cooked, ngurti [coolamon] and a karli [boomerang].

During the Covid-19 global pandemic outbreak Sonia sadly lost her older sister. For the last two months Sonia has been confined to the inner walls at Guwardi Aged care where she lives at Fitzroy Crossing to keep her safe. Sonia has been unable to see family or return home to her community so as to follow the normal procedures for sorry business. It has been an even more difficult time for her amongst the upheaval of these unprecedented times.

Continuing on to make the last few paintings for this show, Sonia’s remarkable creative force holds even greater significance. Immersing herself in depictions of her precious river country has brought some solace as she awaits the time she can to family and properly mourn the loss of her sister.

 

- Natalie McCarthy, 2020

This is how we see 'em

Spinifex Hill Studio
21 April - 23 May 2020

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This is how we see 'em presents the work of three leading Aboriginal artists from Spinifex Hill Studio in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.  

Spinifex Hill Studio is home to one of the youngest Aboriginal art collectives in the north-west of Australia, Spinifex Hill Artists. 

It is a place where people come together to connect through a passion for family, culture, and art. 

“Everyone here is all related or connected, there’s no arguments, there’s happy feelings in here.” – Sheila Gardiner, daughter of Nyaparu (William) Gardiner (1943-2018) and Nyangulya Katie Nalgood. 

This couldn’t be truer for exhibiting artists Nyangulya Katie Nalgood, the late Nyaparu (William) Gardiner, and Winnie Sampi, who have shared a unique bond at the art centre.  

Nyangulya Katie Nalgood and Winnie both migrated from the Kimberley region, and Spinifex Hill Studio has worked as a place to connect them.  

Nyaparu (William) Gardiner and Winnie Sampi re-connected at Spinifex Hill Studio having gone to school together. Nyaparu would always bring his guitar into the art centre and everyone would sing along with him. 

Even though Nyaparu (William) Gardiner has passed way, Nyangulya and Winnie still continue to share photos and memories with one another, and enjoy seeing each other at the art centre. It means they can still stay connected and stay connected to him. 

In this exhibition, Nyangulya Katie Nalgood's representational paintings celebrate and document birds of Western Australia, the diverse feathered creatures filling her personal history as well as cultural life. Winnie Sampi's paintings offer detailed landscapes of Western Australia, and the late Nyaparu (William) Gardiner's paintings offer insight into his experience of the 1946 Pilbara strike, and his work on pastoral stations throughout the Pilbara and Kimberley. 

© Spinifex Hill Studio, Port Hedland, WA

Daughters of Law

Yirrkala
7 March - 18 April 2020

Rerrkirrwaŋa Munuŋgurr, Marrnyula Munuŋgurr and Djirrirra Wunuŋmurra

As the cultural revolutions of the sixties and seventies swept through mainstream Australian society there was a lesser known quiet revolution taking place in East Arnhem around the art hub of Yirrkala.

Specifically a group of men consciously loosened the restrictions on women painting sacred art that had held for millennia. This show is made up of artists who would not have painted but for that decision. In the case of Marrnyula and Rerrkirrwaŋa they are sisters. Their father Djutjadjutja Munuŋgurr was born around the time of the advent of Europeans in 1935 (d.1999). His father Woŋgu was perhaps the main actor in the contact era conflict and its resolution. His wife, Noŋgirrŋa Marawili is now world famous as a contemporary artist. She and her daughters started their artistic career assisting Djutjadjutja in rendering his sacerd muny’tji. He then encouraged them to paint in their own right. Like Djutja himself, Noŋgirrŋa and Rerrkirrwaŋa have each won major art awards since.

The same can be said of Djirrirra who is a multiple award winner herself. Her first publicly acknowledged work was in assisting her father Yaŋgarriny  Wunuŋmurra (1931-2003) in the monumental bark painting which won him First Prize in the 1997 National ATSI Art Award.

Most of these knowledge and authority transfers were a conscious pro-active liberated decision by these fathers. An attempt to buttress the Law and empower their children as its defenders. What happened after that we can see in this exhibition where the women took that authority and explored their creative potential to its fullest.

- Will Stubbs, Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, 2020

2020 Summer Group Show

Jilamara Arts, Maningrida Arts and Culture, Arnhem Land, Papulankutja Artists, Papunya Tula, Balgo Art, Warakurna Artists, Tjarlirli Art
15 - 29 February 2020