Twelve Exhibition 2017

12 Selected Artists
Twelve Exhibition 2017
November 11 - December 24, 2017

This year our annual exhibition Twelve focuses on contemporary Aboriginal paintings on paper; original works from art centres Mimili Maku Arts, Tangentyere Artists and Papunya Tjupi.

These accomplished painters have transferred their skills to the rich, organic properties of ink, creating poetic lines drawings that embody the significance of ancestral country. 

Puna Yanima represents her antara (country) with soaring line formations, veiled in a rhythm of dot mark making, all in vibrant fuschia tones. 

In contrast, Imitjala Curley's ink work is applied in rich, intense layers, as she traces and retraces the forms of her Walytjitjata homeland.

Tilau Nangala's elegant line drawings play with negative space and the placement of essential forms. Fellow Papunya Tjupi artist Candy Nelson Nakamarra fills every inch of her paper with her signature illustrative designs that envelope the viewer. Acclaimed painter Doris Bush Nungarrayi has translated the sandhills and waterhole of Tjurrpinyi Ikuntji in monochrome.

Finally, the fragile, constellation-like forms, or line-and-dot matrix, from Martha McDonald Napaltjarri depict Warlukirritji claypan country, to the south of Lake MacDonald.



About the Art Centres


Around 400 Artists make up Tangentyere Artists; an Alice Springs based Aboriginal owned Art Centre providing Arts training and Workshops as well as Marketing and Sales support for the artists. The unique quality of Tangentyere Artists is that it represents the breadth and depth of Central Australian cultural diversity.Many wonderful stories arise out of the sometimes difficult conditions of the Town Camps for those who take the time to look and listen. And we are very pleased to be able to share them with you to show that Town Camp homes are important places in which real people live their lives, positive places, worthy of the respect that any person and their home deserves.

Imitjala Curley was born in 1953 when her parents were at the Ernabella mission but the family moved to Fregon as soon as the cattle station was established in 1961. A senior traditional women, Imitjala holds cultural knowledge relating to the Ngintaka, Perentie lizard, and Ngapari -sugar leaf- tjukurpa at Watarru. Her connection to the Kampurparpa tjukurpa in the Walytjitjata region is through her mother, Puni Puni. It is a small homeland just over the Northern Territory border about 46km north of Kalka on the APY Lands. Imitjala was married to Kun Curley(dec) and has five children, all girls.


The community of Mimili is in the far north west of South Australia, at the base of the Everard Ranges, in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. It is 645km south of Alice Springs. Mimili is home to 350 Anangu people who speak a mix of Yankunytjatjara, Pitjantjatjara, Ngaanyatjarra and Luritja.

Mimili Maku Arts is an Aboriginal-owned and governed arts business. The art centre takes its name from the maku (witchetty grub) found in the roots of the Acacia Kempeana. The Maku Tjukurpa (witchetty grub songline) is a significant story from this area. 

Puna Yanima was born at De Rose Hill Station. Her father was Norman Yanima and his country was Piltati, near Nyapari, on the APY Lands. Her mother was Lucy Yanima and she was born in Indulkana. Puna has two Brothers, Dennis and Leslie, and two sisters, Jauna and Tania. Puna grew up in Indulkana, where she met her husband Shannon. They have four children: Linda, Harry, Myra and Shaun. Puna is a senior woman who still practices traditional law and culture today. Puna is deeply connected to country, she speaks to country and has deep knowledge of Inma (traditional dance and song). She started painting using large brush strokes on stretched linen in 2006. Her work is bold and her colours are charismatic. Puna is courageous with her application of paint and confident in her mark making. Her imagery is unique and her painterly language is vibrant.

Doris Bush Nungarrayi, Martha McDonald Napaltjarri, Candy Nelson Nakamarra, Tilau Nangala / PAPUNYA TJUPI ARTS CENTRE

Papunya Tjupi Arts is a 100% Aboriginal owned and directed community arts organisation based in Papunya, 250km north west of Alice Springs, the birthplace of the Western Desert dot-painting movement. It supports a new generation of artists establishing their own unique identity based on the legacy of their forefathers. The art centre services around 100 artists from Papunya and surrounding outstations. They have become known for their strong line-work and for developing new ways to tell the old stories.

Born at Kintore, Martha (also known by her 'bush name' of Tjulata) McDonald Napaltjarri is the daughter of founding Papunya Tula artist Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi and his first wife Kumanjay Nangala. Martha was raised by her mother's sister Napulu Nangala. Martha married Snowy McDonald, with whom she lived in Papunya until his death in 2013. Together they had two sons and a daughter. Martha lives in an outstation near Papunya at the base of the Ulumpbaru mountain range with her extended family. Martha is an honoured and respected elder in the Papunya community. Martha began painting in 2008 for Papunya Tjupi, where she quickly emerged as a talented and meticulous painter. She paints at the art centre every day and is also on the board of Directors.

Born in Haasts Bluff, Doris Bush Nungarrayi married George Bush Tjangala, with whom she had three sons. In the mid 1980's the family went to live on an outstation at Nyunmanu in Doris's mother's country and later the couple divided their time between Papunya and Alice Springs. When Papunya Tjupi Arts was established in late 2007, Doris quickly became one of the most prolific and enthusiastic painters in the community. In 2012 she had her first solo exhibition at Damien Minton Gallery in Redfern Sydney and her second in 2016 at RAFT South in Hobart.

Candy Nelson Nakamarra grew up in Papunya with brothers and sisters Lindsay, Mike, Narlie and Dennis Nelson who all learnt to paint from their father, renowned Papunya artist Johnny Warangkula. He gave them all the rights to paint the Kalipinypa water dreaming story which Candy continues to explore and reinvent in her painting.

Tilau Nangala is a senior law woman for Papunya and surrounding regions. Her deeply felt knowledge of country and ceremony empowers her bold lyrical and expressive paintings. She says her Aunty taught her culture and stories but she developed her own ideas on how to paint them. She said that she paints so the children can watch and learn, so she can pass on her Dreaming and stories to her grandchildren.


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