Friday, January 30, 2009

See Aboriginal artist Nellie Marks Nakamarra paint

Nellie was born in about 1976 in the Kintore region, Northern Territory.

Nellie was taught to paint by various members of the desert art movement. Born in Papunya and growing up in the Western Desert Nellie’s greatest artistic influences include the acclaimed artists Old Mick Namararri, Turkey Tolson and Uta Uta.

Nellie depicts Lightening Dreaming, Women’s Travelling stories and Women’s Tingari in her paintings. Her early style was minimalist and graphic, yet her recent paintings are much more detailed and creative both in form and use of colour. Nellie’s paintings are striking due to their design of lines and dot work.

Nellie today resides primarily at Kintore but alternates travels between Kintore, Tjukurla and Kiwirrkurra.

We will have lots of new works coming into the gallery by Nellie over the next few weeks as I think her work is showing a great deal of promise.

Bye for now, Alesha.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

See Aboriginal artist Thomas Tjapaltjarri paint

Thomas Tjapaltjarri was another painter we caught up with in Alice Springs. He is interesting because he is part of the what's known as the 'Pintupi Nine'.

Thomas was born in about 1965 in the Gibson Desert, west of Alice Springs.
He and his family group were the last group of indigenous Australians to make contact with contemporary Australia, and until this time were living a completely traditional life.

Thomas paints in a bold, minimal style. His main panting subject is 'Tingari'.

The full story of 'Tingari' is really only known to initiated men from the Pintupi region of Australia.

However, we know that 'Tingari' can be described as something of a creation story - the 'Tingari' ancestors travelled the country, performing rituals and in turn creating the landforms of the country that we see today.

Thomas often paints aspects of the 'Tingari' that relate to sacred sites in his Country. These notably are rockholes and water soakages where water can be found. With the obvious scarceness of water in the desert, the location of water is paramount to survival in the harsh desert.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ever wanted to see Aboriginal Artists paint?

We've just returned from Alice Springs where, despite the heat of about 40 degrees celsius, we caught up with several Aboriginal painters.

Somehow the painters just don't feel the heat in the same way we do - might have something to do with the fact they have lived in this country for 40,000 years.

We borrowed a handy-cam and asked some of the painters if they would be ok if we made a short film of them painting.

Many painters agreed and as we edit each short film we'll upload them to the blog.

Personally I find watching the painters paint mesmerising and time passes very quickly. This is also a good chance to interact with the painters and ask them what their painting is about. Sometimes it's difficult to get a lot of information as the painters generally don't speak much english and our points of reference are so different.

This painting is a joint work by Joylene Reid Napangardi and Yinarupa Nangala.

Yinarupa is a senior western desert painter originally from a place called Mukula to the east of Western Australia. Joylene is the apprentice in this case. The story is passed from the elder to the junior.

In this painting Joylene and Yinarupa paint their traditional lands.

The painting features many rockholes - an important source of water in the desert - but Joylene and Yinarupa's ability to tell me where this is exactly is limited by my lack of knowledge of their Country. Just where the rockholes are - I will never know unless they take me there, and even then it might be a secret place where they don't want people who are not from their culture strolling about. There aren't too many street signs in the western desert.

Take a look at the film of Joylene Reid Napangardi painting which runs for about five minutes - keep in mind that the actual painting took about 5 days to complete.

Bye for now, Alesha.