Art News

Untitled – Sandhills George Tjungurrayi paints his trademark paintings using undulating parallel lines. These are reminiscent of the shapes left on the sand by the wind or the retreat of water in the clay pans and is described by Tjungurrayi as representing the energy of the tingari ancestors. The simple, clean, striking nature of his work means it works well in a variety of spaces, particularly in modern, minimal spaces. This combination of expression of culture and skilled creation of art in the western tradition has contributed to his popularity as an artist and his inclusion in large contemporary prizes and exhibitions including the Sydney Biennale 2018 and this year for the sixth time, the Wynne Prize finalist exhibition at the AGNSW. George Tjungurrayi for the Art Gallery of NSW, 2020 This painting relates to the claypan site known as Mamultjjulkulnga, on the edge of Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay) in Western…

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Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri

About the life of Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri and his rise to prominence.

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We have had a lot of interest in our collection of older collectable bark paintings from Arnhem Land. These paintings in the Gannon House Gallery collection are from communities throughout Arnhem Land and date back to the early 1960’s. In contrast to the later development of the desert art movement, the first collections of bark paintings as artworks rather than ethnographic curiosity was as early as 1912 when botanist, anthropologist and curator Walter Baldwin Spencer, was collecting paintings on behalf of the museum of Victoria from the community of Oenpelli in western Arnhem Land. Central and eastern Arnhem Land had similarly received attention from Anthropologists and art collectors from galleries and museums in Australia, Europe and the US as a source of “undiscovered” treasure. In reality the people in these areas were creating stunning artwork and established trade with close island nations for hundreds of years before European arrival in…

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Yinarupa Nangala

Yinarupa Nangala has become known and celebrated for her depictions of the Mukula rockhole site near Jupiter Well. This was an important ceremony site and a source of food and water. The details in her paintings relate to the land formations and the plants that grow in the area. The desert raisin, represented by the small circles, was used as a calorie dense food source, eaten straight off the bush or ground into a smooth paste for cooking. Bush tomatoes were collected and sometimes dried for later use. In the Western desert the aerial depictions of the landscape were used in ceremony and as a teaching tool. Designs or maps were drawn on the ground and detailed explanations about where to look for food or water or the pathways of the ancestors were given to the younger members of a family or group. Aside from the cultural purpose or record…

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Dorothy Napangardi (c.1950-2013) was a Warlpiri speaker from the area around the salt lake, Lake McKay near the Northern Territory / Western Australian border. She grew up hunting and collecting bush foods with her family in the traditional nomadic lifestyle led by many aboriginal people living in the area up until the late 1970’s. After coming into the Yuendumu community, Dorothy and her family moved to Alice Springs where Dorothy learnt to paint. Her early work reflected the style of the elder women such as Eunice and Pansy Napangardi, featuring bright bush banana stories with  a very bright palate with textured brushwork. It was not until some time later that she began painting her Sandhills and Mina Mina works with their monochromatic palate and fine veils of dots. The stimulus for the change was a visit to the Mina Mina area where she was able to describe the digging sticks…

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Dr David Malangi was born in 1927, the year after the Methodist Mission was established at Milingimbi, Central Arnhem Land. His early years were spent in this area, where he received initiation into Manyarrngu culture from his parents and extended family. He began painting after World War II. David Malangi is probably best known for his involvement in a copyright dispute.  A bark painting he produced depicting the first death was purchased by European collector,  Karel Kupka on behalf of the French Musee National des Arts dÁfric et dÓceanie. Enroute to Europe the work was reproduced, and later featured, without his knowledge or permission, on the one dollar note in 1966. The design depicted the hunter Gurrmirringu with seated song men holding instruments thought to be clapsticks and didgeridoos to guide the ancestral spirit. Surrounding the group were the animals representing the hunter’s catch and his final funeral feast. The…

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Eddie Wentorf developed a love for bronze as a sculptural medium during his training in the late 70’s. Formal training in commercial design, and extensive foundry experience led him to open his own foundry. With his sons David and Robbie he produces a wide range of Australian animals in their family-run foundry in NSW, Australia. Wentorf  skillfully employs a traditional foundry casting technique to produce an exquisite range of bronze Australian animals. Every cast is unique. Each piece is first produced in wax that is then coated in a ceramic slurry to build a shell of 5mm thickness. The wax is removed under steam pressure and the ceramic shell fired to 1000° Celsius to remove the wax and vitrify the shell. Molten bronze is then poured into the shell. After cooling, each shell is sandblasted off to reveal the bronze. Each piece is patinated, polished and clear coated. Eddie has…

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We have a new collection of work recently arrived from artists Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri, Thomas Tjapltjarri and Yukulti Napangati. These artists were three of the nine members of one family, know as the Pintupi 9, making international headlines on their arrival at Kiwikurra in the Northern Territory in 1984. They had lived a traditional nomadic life in the desert with no contact with the western world until this time. Since then, Yulkultji Napangati, Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri and Thomas Tjapaltjarri have mastered painting very detailed interpretations of the landscape, particularly the important ceremonial or food collection areas around their homelands. They have attracted the attention of collectors and art buyers and have traveled to New York to exhibit their work. Yukultji and Warlimpirrnga’s work have been acquired by many of the major public galleries and institutions world wide and they have both won national art prizes. Contact us if you would like to…

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Peter McQueeney

A series of work, new to the gallery by Australian artist, Peter McQueeney have arrived. Inspired by the landscape in Tasmania, McQueeney’s paintings have a more subtle light and palate in comparison with his paintings featuring central Australia. Peter McQueeney was born in Tasmania in 1941. He spent much of his life painting and traveling to find inspiration for his work, moving back to Tasmania from Sydney recently. Peter McQueeney works in acrylics and creates a sense of light and space with an expert hand. His work is included in many corporate and private collections both in Australian and internationally. These paintings work as well in modern or traditional home environments and our experienced gallerists can assist in hanging and placing work in your home if you are in Sydney or arrange for economical shipping to most locations world wide. View the paintings here or come into the gallery.  …

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Kathleen Petyarre My Country

On the 24th of November 2018, artist Kathleen Petyarre passed away at the age of eighty. Born in 1938, Kathleen Petyarre (Kweyetemp) Kathleen Petyarre has contributed much to our understanding of desert communities and Anmatyerr culture. She will be missed as a leader in art making in Utopia and as a staunch supporter of land access and rights for her community. Kathleen Petyarre traveled as a child with her extended family around her father’s and grandfather’s country Amangkere, about 275 kilometers north-east of Alice Springs (NT), developing an encyclopedic knowledge of its flora, fauna, rock holes, soaks, and other significant sites. Petyarre estimates that she would have been about seven or eight when the family first came across a white person. In the late 1970s, with other Anmatyerre and some Alyawerre women from the Utopia region, she began learning batik techniques at an adult education course. About the same time…

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