This exhibition features two women artists who both began painting in the 1990s after working closely with senior male artists within their family groups. Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri assisted her Pintupi elder husband Barney Campbell Tjakamarra (1928- 2007), before setting out on her own career.
Maisie has often painted her own father’s country at Warmarrungle near Kaarku. However the major themes represented in Maisie’s work are the important women's ceremonies that take place in the Western Desert between Kintore in the Northern Territory and Kiwirrkurra in Western Australia.
Pitjantjatjara artist Jorna Newberry, the niece of famous Western desert painter Tommy Watson, began her painting in the mid 1990s at Warakurna, and later moved to Irunytju. Over recent years Jorna has worked closely alongside her legendary uncle, Tommy Watson.
Rather than taking a more figurative approach in her work, Jorna follows her uncle’s instruction to use abstraction as a stylistic means to ensure secrecy of important cultural matters. Jorna says: ‘Tommy has had a big influence on me. He teaches me to be respectful in the way I paint’.
Jorna paints Tjukurpa passed down to her through her family lineage, and keeps the Tjukurpa stories alive through her artwork. Jorna’s stories include Walpa Tjukurpa (Wind Dreaming), and stories associated with Pitjantjatjara ceremonial lands at Utantja, in her mother’s country - sites where important women’s traditional ceremonies are held.
The work of these two great artists will be on view at Japingka Gallery from 21st September to 31st October. Or view online here.