Every Painting has Tjukurpa (story): Contemporary paintings by women of the desert - Art Exhibition - Michael Reid Gallery

Every Painting has Tjukurpa (story): Contemporary paintings by women of the desert

1 - 30 May 2020

Betty Chimney
Betty Chimney & Raylene Walatinna
Beyula Putungka Napanangka
Candy Nelson Nakamarra
Doris Bush Nungarrayi
Tuppy Goodwin
curated by Dallas Gold, Founder of RAFT artspace

The exhibition Every Painting has Tjukurpa is a small insight of what is happening in Aboriginal community art centres in remote central Australia.

In the 1970s senior men at Papunya in the remote Northern Territory decided to release artworks previously considered sacred into the public realm. This action initiated a ‘movement’ in art. In the generations of artists that followed, women have played an important role in keeping culture strong, establishing places to make art and passing on knowledge. Women, in particular, have been innovative developing new styles of painting.

“To keep culture strong” is a common theme and in order not to give too much away from the formal inherited designs, there has been a proliferation of individual styles that celebrate country and allude to a sophisticated knowledge system.

Some of the artists included in the exhibition are Betty Chimney and her daughter, Raylene Walatinna of Indulkana, South Australia. Betty actively passes on knowledge to Raylene as they sit together and paint large colourful collaborative works.

Tuppy Goodwin of Mimili, in the remote North-West area of South Australia known as Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, uses a bold drawing and minimal palette to paint Antara, ‘Maku Tjukurpa’ (witchetty grub story). Candy Nelson Nakamarra of Papunya, 250km North West of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, uses her unique approach of lace-like drawing over wash layers to paint Kapi Tjukurpa (Water Dreaming).

The movement that is Aboriginal Art and in this exhibition, paintings by women of the desert art centres, is dynamic and it continues to evolve. Despite the diversity of styles, all the works are informed by a deep knowledge and love of country.

– Dallas Gold

Join for Berlin updates