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Aboriginal Desert Landscape Colour Palettes

When people think of desert landscapes they tend to think of earth colours and the ochre colours of traditional palettes. However when we look at modern, contemporary Aboriginal desert landscape painters and break down the colours and look closely at the colour palettes they’re using, we see what an intense selection of colours the artists…

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Blue Aboriginal Art Colour Palettes

The blue colour palette in Aboriginal painting is not the most common group of colours we encounter but it is used widely amongst certain artists. It creates quite an ethereal and mysterious sense about the paintings. When we look at these paintings and what they’re evoking,  we often see them referring to the mystery of…

Bush Flowers and Bush Medicine Plant

Ampilatwatja Art Community Colour Palettes

You find the artists of Ampilatwatja (pronounced ‘um-bludder-watch’) working in their communities to the north east of Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory. Their art consists of fine dot work that produces landscapes painted with a bright figurative and somewhat niave style. Some say these paintings remind them of folk art from other parts of the…

Feature From Berlin Ampilatwatja

From Berlin To Japingka – Ampilatwatja Artists Bring Their Joy

Caroline Hunter is Community Art Manager for the Artists of Ampilatwatja Aboriginal Corporation. In this interview, she talks about the art, the work of the art centre and the success of their recent Berlin exhibition. How do you pronounce the community name? It’s pronounced um-blood-a-witch. Where Is Ampilatwatja? How would you describe the community of…

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Australian Aboriginal Art Centre Management

The Role of Aboriginal Art Centre Managers in Building An Art Business Emilia Galatis is currently working with the Western Australian Art Gallery on the collaborative Kimberley arts project Desert, River, Sea. She has worked in several remote Aboriginal Art Centres helping to develop their art business. In this interview she discusses that work, the…

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Warakurna Artists from The Place That Calls You Home

Jane Menzies is the Manager of Warakurna Artists. The remote community of Warakurna is situated on the Great Central Road in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands of Western Australia. It is about 330km from Uluru near the border with the Northern Territory.What is special about the community of Warakurna? We’re blessed to live here. It’s a beautiful…

Kulama Design by Susan Wanji Wanji

Tiwi Island Art Ochre Colour Palettes

Colour Palettes from the Tiwi Islands Ochre paintings from the Tiwi people are reflections of their ceremonial life. The patterns that artists use in their paintings come directly out of two major ceremonies that are part of Tiwi culture. One is the Pukamani ceremony, which is the funeral rights ceremony. We’re familiar with those from…

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Amanda Westley – The Painting of All of Me

Amanda Conway-Jones (nee Westley) is part of the Ngarrindjeri clan in South Australia. Here she talks about piecing her family history together, her art and her life in the coastal town of Victor Harbor. Amanda is talking on the day after the opening of her first solo exhibition. Growing Up Where did you grow up…

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Many Stories in Shades of Blue at Japingka Gallery

Blue is a fascinating colour – it seems that it appeals universally as a colour.  Having said that, historically it has been an incredibly difficult colour to extract for artists and artisans. All the earth colours we can get from pigments in the ground. However, when it comes to finding the colours seen in water…

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Australian Aboriginal Ochre Painted Larrakitj Memorial Poles

Gordon is a West Australian art restoration specialist. He is both a restorer and collector of Australian Aboriginal ochre artworks. In this interview with David Wroth, he discusses working with ochre painted Larrakitj from Arnhem Land, the ephemeral nature of ochre and his thoughts about its future. Q. You’ve done work for the people from…

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Restoration of Australian Aboriginal Ochre Paintings

Gordon is a fine art restoration specialist. He is both a restorer and collector of Australian Aboriginal ochre artworks. In this interview with David Wroth he discusses his approach to working with ochre paintings. Restoration of Ochre Paintings Q. You’ve worked on ochre paintings in the Aboriginal art world for more than four decades. What…

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Aboriginal Ochre Painting Colour Palettes

The colours used by Aboriginal ochre painters are a unique set of colours that come straight out of the Australian earth. They are the warm colours of iron oxides that are prominent in all regions of the Australia continent. The colours vary from the deepest chocolate browns, through orange tones, tobacco reds and blood reds,…


Australian Aboriginal Ochre Painting

Ochre Is Used As Foundation of Cultural Expression Ochre is one of the principal foundations of Australian Indigenous art. Ochres are primarily natural pigments and minerals found in the soil, or even in charcoal. These natural pigments (colours) were originally used to depict Dreamtime stories and maps. They were used either in body painting, rock…

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Symbols Used In Spinifex Women’s Collaborative Artwork

In November 2017, Spinifex Artists attended the opening of their exhibition at Japingka Aboriginal Art. The artists explained how they used symbols in their work. This large two metre Women’s Collaborative painting from the Spinifex Arts Project was painted in 2017. The work is titled Kuru Ala, The Home of the Seven Sisters. The senior…

Two Women Dreaming

A Fresh Look at Teaching Aboriginal Culture & Art

  It was exciting this week to see the Amercian teacher website, The Art of Education, publish an insightful piece about Aboriginal art. In her article, Aboriginal Art: Revisited, Researched, and Revamped!, writer Lindsey Moss makes the observation that visual art teachers in North America are interested in the area of Aboriginal art. She challenges her…


Walk Through: Spinifex Arts Project 20th Anniversary Exhibition at Japingka Gallery

Amanda Dent, Project Manager for the Spinifex Arts Project, discusses the paintings that form the 20th Anniversary exhibition at Japingka Aboriginal Art Gallery. Wati Ngintaka by Patju Presley Patju Presley is a new artist to Spinifex. We used to work with him twenty years ago at Wingellina – he was one of the founding Anangu…

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What is the Connection Between the Dreamtime and Songlines?

The Dreaming is the description of a sacred time that saw the creation of the world as Aboriginal people know it and understand it. Dreamtime is the word used in the English language, but there are many words across the Aboriginal languages, including Tjukurrpa and Ngarrangkarni. Both words mean a sacred time when the world…

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Did Aboriginal Artists Use Western Art Traditions to Preserve Culture?

We were recently asked did the contemporary Aboriginal art movement start as a way to meld Western art tradition with Aboriginal culture, for the preservation of that culture? I think the answer is no. I think it’s probably the opposite of that. I think the impetus that started the movement came when the school teacher…

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Did Contemporary Aboriginal Art Really Start in the 1970s?

We’ve had some correspondence from an art teacher in the United States. She was wanting to clarify a few points about Aboriginal art and we’ve decided to share the questions and our answers. Her first question focused on when contemporary art started. Contemporary Aboriginal painting really established its roots in the 1970s. Like all accounts…

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New Samsung “The Frame” TV Takes Aboriginal Art To The World

Sarrita King is the only Australian artist represented in the art collection released as part of the new Samsung The Frame television. This television turns into a high-quality digital art display when not in use. The Frame includes access to 100 pieces of art, curated from 37 international artists and designers. The TV has already…

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Edward Blitner New Works – Rarrk Cross-hatching

We are enjoying having the latest paintings from Eddie Blitner in the gallery. We’ve shown works from Eddie for the past eight years. It’s exciting to see that he’s taken his most recent work to a higher level of complexity. And also now working on larger canvases than we’ve seen before. Rarrk Cross Hatching Eddie…

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Symbolism in Aboriginal Art – Thoughts From Sarrita King

Sarrita King is a well-established Australian artist. Here she talks about recent questions she has had about Aboriginal art symbols, and whether symbols are linked across cultures and universal or more specific to a cultural group. She discusses the origin and meaning of some of the symbols that she and her sister Tarisse King use…

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The Art of Connection – Interviews with Australian Aboriginal Artists

Many people think that all Australian Aboriginal art is the dot style of painting. They might also believe that all Aboriginal artists are older people who live in the desert. They may not not realise that Aboriginal art is extraordinary in its diversity and so too are the artists who create it. This is a…

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Ancestors, Elements, Heritage – Sarrita King & Tarisse King

Sarrita and Tarisse King are putting new works up for their exhibition, Ancestors, Elements, Heritage, which opens on the 22nd of September. It’s always fantastic to see their latest paintings because these two artists work so closely together. At the moment they’re physically further apart than they ever have been. Tarisse is living in New Zealand…

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Large Wall Art By Damien & Yilpi Marks

Where do you find large wall art for spaces like the foyers of contemporary buildings? It’s the type of art that will sit well with neutral interiors. It is larger scale art with a warm focus that adds life and energy to a room. The latest works by husband and wife team Damien and Yilpi Marks…

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New Indigenous Textiles – The Next Wave

Ian Plunkett reflects on the 2017 Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF) in Darwin and the excitement around the re-emergence of Indigenous textiles. You couldn’t attend this year’s Aboriginal Art Fair without noticing the growing excitement around Indigenous textiles. The colours and textures of fabric and clothing created a fresh energy and vibrancy to the Art…

NAATSIA Darwin 2017

2017 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards

Japingka Aboriginal Art’s Ian Plunkett reflects on the 34TH TELSTRA National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA) This is Australia’s longest running and the most prestigious Indigenous art award. It aims to recognise the important contribution made by Indigenous artists from regional and urban areas throughout Australia. It includes works in traditional and…

Tjungunutja Papunya exhibition

Tjunguṉutja – The Stunning Papunya Exhibition

Ian Plunkett reflects on the exhibition of early Papunya works on display in Darwin. The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory have put together an extraordinary exhibition of paintings from the early works from Papunya. It is called Tjungunutja which means “having come together”. This is a seminal exhibition. I hope that it tours nationally –  it…

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Kimberley Rock Art – A New Way of Working Together

Professor Peter Veth of the University of WA leads the Kimberley Visions project, involving comparative archaeological documentation and dating of early rock art repertoires from across the Kimberley and western Arnhem Land in northern Australia. In this article, Peter discusses some of the organisations that are contributing to this work and the type of technologies they…

Aboriginal Rock Art Located West of Kununurra - Tourism Western Australia

Kimberley Rock Art – Research In Partnership With Traditional Owners

By: David Wroth, Japingka Gallery and Peter Veth, University of Western Australia, 2016 Professor Peter Veth of the University of WA leads the Kimberley Visions project, involving comparative archaeological documentation and dating of early rock art repertoires from across the Kimberley and western Arnhem Land in northern Australia. In this interview, Peter describes his work with local…


Kimberley Rock Art – How Meanings Change

Ancient Aboriginal Rock Art at Mimbi Caves Professor Peter Veth of the University of WA leads the Kimberley Visions project, involving comparative archaeological documentation and dating of early rock art repertoires from across the Kimberley and western Arnhem Land in northern Australia. In this interview, Peter explores how the context of rock art and how…

Aboriginal Rock Art at Moochalabra Dam Near Wyndham

Kimberley Rock Art – A Traditional Owner’s Perspective

By: David Wroth, Japingka Gallery and Leah Umbagi, Mowanjum Aboriginal Art & Culture Centre, 2017 Leah Umbagai paints Wandjina images, as well as pictures of constellations like the Seven Sisters and Wallungunder. She is also an Executive Councillor for Mowanjum Aboriginal Art & Culture Centre. In this interview, Leah talks about the Kimberley rock art and what…

Gwion Gwion Aboriginal rock Art Near Kimberley Coastal Camp 101997

Aboriginal Rock Art of the Kimberley – An Overview

By: David Wroth, Japingka Gallery and Peter Veth, University of Western Australia, 2017 Professor Peter Veth of the University of WA leads the Kimberley Visions project, involving comparative archaeological documentation and dating of early rock art repertoires from across the Kimberley and western Arnhem Land in northern Australia. What is Aboriginal rock art? Rock art…

Yamiji Aboriginal Rock Art, at Willi Gulli (Bowes River) Near Horrocks

A Closer Look At Australia’s Kimberley Rock Art

It’s been fascinating to see that recent excavations of a rock shelter near Kakadu National Park indicate humans reached Australia at least 65,000 years ago. This is 18,000 years earlier than archaeologists previously thought and the information provides more insight into Australia’s ancient past. Aboriginal Rock Art Located West of Kununurra – Tourism Western Australia…

Choosing Feature Art For Home

How To Choose Art For Your First Apartment

Maya Anderson edits the interior design blog, House Nerd. We asked Maya what advice she would give someone who would like to incorporate Aboriginal art in their first apartment. Here are her tips. If art is important to you, what is the wall colour you should choose? A lot of people will say if art…

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The Yam Dreaming of Lorna Napurrula Fencer

Yam Dreaming, a 2017 exhibition at Japingka Aboriginal Art Gallery, includes a collection of extraordinary paintings by Lorna Napurrula Fencer. Lorna is a custodian of the Yam Dreaming stories from Yumurrpa, a site in Warlpiri country, to the north of Yuendumu community in Australia’s Northern Territory. View: Yam Dreaming Exhibition (Online) Lorna Fencer (1924-2006) was a famous Lajamanu…

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The Role of Aboriginal Art In Contemporary Interior Design

Alana Willis is an Interior Design Consultant for Innerspace in Perth. Here she discusses the qualities she believes Aboriginal art brings to contemporary interior design, her role as designer and what she loves about her job. Why did you select some Aboriginal artworks to hang at the Innerspace showrooms in Perth? I wanted something with…

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The Vibrant Colours of Womens’ Yam Dreaming

Our new exhibition is Yam Dreaming and has ten major artists exhibiting. The theme of the exhibition is based on the Bush Yam, which is a staple of the traditional Aboriginal diet in Central Australia. Because of its importance it has become a dominant theme, a central idea, for a significant group of artists to explore. There is…

Japingka Western Australia Aboriginal Artists Featured

Aboriginal Artists of Western Australia

Sometimes people in the Gallery ask us about West 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 that for themselves.

Aboriginal Art Bush Dyed Textiles Groote Island

Bush Dyed Textiles From Anindilyakwa Art and Culture on Groote Island

Japingka Gallery is exhibiting some very popular bush dyed textiles from Anindilyakwa Art and Culture on Groote Island. In this interview we talk with Lucy Bond, who is the Centre’s Arts Coordinator, about how the women’s textile project came about and its value to the community. Where is Groote Eylandt? Groote Eylandt is the largest…