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Aboriginal Artists of Western Australia

Aboriginal Artists of Western Australia - Mijili

Header image: Mitjili Napanangka Gibson

Occasionally visitors to the Gallery ask us about Western Australian Aboriginal artists and which communities they should look at.

We thought it might be useful to review what we have in our collection and give a general description of the communities represented so that people can quickly explore those for themselves.

We have over 1,800 paintings by West Australian Aboriginal artists in the gallery. Those come from fourteen different community groups all around the State. It is important to remember the size of Western Australia, which covers nearly a third of the Australian continent.

These artists make up a very diverse group. On our Artist Page we have around 110 of our best-known featured artists from all over Australia. Of those, over thirty artists are West Australians. About 35 to 40% of the paintings in our Gallery are the work of Western Australian Indigenous artists.

Reviewing the exhibitions over the last three years, we have hosted ten major exhibitions by artists and communities that are West Australian based. They cover a huge diversity from the very south-east corner where the Spinifex people are a prominent art producing group based in Tjuntjuntjara in the Great Victoria Desert. We’ve exhibited work from the Western Desert region, communities like Warakurna and Blackstone, and further north, artists from Kiwirrkura near the border with the Northern Territory.

Communities like Yinjaa-Barni in the Pilbara region in the north-west of the State bring quite a different look, then in the far north the Kimberley region is a very special area with quite a diverse group of communities working there.

We’ve represented work and exhibitions by Kimberley artists from Mowanjum, Kalumburu, Fitzroy Crossing, Wangkatjungka Community, Warmun, Kununurra, and the smaller outstations of the East Kimberley.

There’s a tremendous diversity of artists from Western Australia. On this page we’ve made a list of the thirty-nine artists who have their own Artist page on the website. Viewing these pages is an interesting way to review the range of artists’ work in our collection.

Each of those pages has its own background notes about the artist and the community. We also have a section called ‘Aboriginal Art Regions’ where the communities are listed and there are 14 of those communities based in Western Australia. There is a link to all those communities at the base of the page. Not all West Australian artists have their own entries on the ‘Artists’ feature pages.

For example in the Spinifex group there are many outstanding artists who mostly exhibit within their community exhibitions. These artists include Simon Hogan, Roy Underwood, Lennard Walker, Ian Rictor, Fred Grant, Tjaruwa Woods, Estelle Hogan and Myrtle Pennington. These make up some of the core group of senior artists from Tjuntjuntjara community.

There are artists from Warakurna who have exhibited including Carol Maanyatja Golding, Myra Yurtiwa Cook, Ngipi Ward, Cynthia Burke and Manupa Butler.

The Tjukurla community is based right near the Northern Territory/South Australia border and artists from that community include Marlene Young Nungurrayi, Marcia Reid Nangala, Esther Giles Nampitjinpa and Lydia Young. There’s a strong group of desert communities in the south-east corner of Western Australia and a substantial number of painters come from that area.

The other area that’s very significantly represented is the Kimberley region. From Mowanjum near Derby, artists like Donny Woolagoodja, Gordon Barunga, Leah Umbagai, Kirk Woolagoodja, Kirsty Burgu, and Mildred Mungulu all make up that group of artists who specialise in Wandjinas and Gwion Gwion paintings. They share this style with artists from Kalumburu including Lily Karadada, Regina Karadada, Mercy Fredericks and Cassie Waina.

Still in the Kimberley, towards the east are the ochre painters from Warmun and Kununurra areas. There are a significant number of very well-known artists including Rover Thomas, Jack Britten, Shirley Purdie, Freddie Timms, Rita Thomas, Madigan Thomas, Gordon Barney, Henry Wambini, and Charlene Carrington.

Towards the south-east corner of the Kimberley we have the Wangkatjungka artists and they have produced a number of large collaborative paintings. There can be five or six artists who contribute to the one canvas as they paint their shared desert homelands. These artists also create their own individual paintings. Some of the artists from that community include Nada Rawlins, Rosie Goodjie, George Tuckerbox, Penny K. Lyons, Stumpy Brown, Bidee Baadjo, Willie Kew, Jill Jack and Nora Tjookootja.

The range of artists is substantial and perhaps the best way to get a sense of the regional styles and the individual styles is to review the community lists and the artist lists, as a way to understand the cross-section of West Australian Aboriginal artists.

Freddie Timms, Aboriginal Artist WA

Freddie Timms – Adavale

 

Western Australian Aboriginal Artist Allery Sandy

Allery Sandy – Hidden Creeks

 

Western Australian Aboriginal Artist George Tuckerbox

George Tuckerbox

 

Jimmy Pike, WA Artist - Kurriny Piyirnkujarrra

Jimmy Pike – Kurriny Piyirnkujarrra

WA Artists Represented by Japingka

Western Australian Aboriginal Artist Nada Rawlins

Nada Rawlins – Warla Country Waterholes

 

Other Western Australian Artists

Warmun

  • Charlene Carrington
  • Gordon Barney
  • Hector Jandanay
  • Henry Wambini
  • Madigan Thomas
  • Nancy Nodea
  • Nora Naqarra
  • Phyllis Thomas
  • Shirley Purdie
  • Tommy Carroll

Spinifex

  • Estelle Hogan
  • Fred Grant
  • Ian Rector
  • Kathleen Donegan
  • Lawrence Pennington
  • Roy Underwood
  • Simon Hogan
  • Tjaduwa Woods

Tjukurla

  • Esther Giles
  • Lydia Young
  • Marcia Reid
  • Marlene Young Nungurrayi

Wangkatjungka Collaborations

  • Nora Tjookootja

Warakurna

  • Carol Golding
  • Manupa Butler
  • Myra Cook
  • Ngipi Ward

Mowanjum

  • Alison Burgu
  • Donny Woolagoodja
  • Gabriella Barunga
  • Gordon Burunga
  • Kirk Woolagoodja
  • Kirsty Burgu
  • Leah Umbagai
  • Mildred Mungulu

Other

  • Yondee Shane Hansen
  • Peter Skipper
  • Mantua Nangala
  • Cassie Waina
Western Australian Aboriginal Artist Jack Dale

Jack Dale Mengenen – Gulun Duen Springs

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