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The Old & New – Exciting Diversity From Ikuntji Artists

An exciting and diverse group of artists from the desert community of Ikuntji, at Haasts Bluff in Central Australia, are exhibiting at Japingka Aboriginal Art Gallery.

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Utopia Artists Painting on Country Exhibiting at Japingka

One of my favourite paintings from this exhibition, Utopia Artists – Painting on Country, is a three-metre painting that feels like a desert landscape.

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Growth, Strength and Vibrancy of Ikuntji Artists

Dr Chrischona Schmidt is Art Centre manager for Ikuntji Artists. She has completed a PhD focusing on the history of the Utopia art movement. Prior to taking up this role Chrischona worked for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, the National Museum of Australia, Strehlow Research Centre and auction houses and galleries…

Magpie Geese and Crocodile

Wet Season Billabongs Brought To Life By Edward Blitner

Edward Blitner has created an exhibition of works under the title, Freshwater Billabongs. It shows the great effervescence of life after the wet season in Kakadu and Arnhem Land. At that time all the swamps and the freshwater billabongs fill up and they’re full of life. Here are images of water lilies, brolgas, goannas, crocodiles…

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Bold Colours of the Tropical Coast From Fiona Omeenyo and Rosella Namok

Fiona Omeenyo’s painting on the central wall of the gallery is entitled ‘Day out on the Beach’. This is the story of her community in northern Queensland. She says that as children they grew up on the beach because that’s where all her people lived. They went hunting and fishing and foraged for bush food…

Walking in the Lands

Fiona Omeenyo Colour Palettes

Fiona Omeenyo is known for her really intense use of colour, often contrasting colour. Her paintings from tropical North Queensland have elements of sunsets, ocean vistas, beaches with people, birds and elder figures. She highlights the activities that are going on using contrasting colours of oranges, reds, golds against blues, greens, even purples. The range…

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Interior Design Colour Palettes

Interior Design Colour Palettes with Australian Aboriginal Art Discover Warmth, vibrance and soul Contemporary Aboriginal art and design is dazzling. On the surface, it’s visually thrilling with its masterful composition and fresh palettes. Go deeper, and you’ll discover rich, diverse and complex cultures based around sacred stories. Collectors will tell you that this art brings…

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Fiona Omeenyo and Her Sand Beach People

Fiona Omeenyo is a respected artist from the Umpila language group at Lockhart River which is on the Cape York region of northern Queensland. She a member of the Lockhart River Art Gang and works as a painter and printmaker. In this interview, she talks about the stories behind her art and the spiritual meaning…

6 Tjanpi artists from Kaltukatjara (NT). 2011. Image by Rhett Hammerton. ©Tjanpi Desert Weavers, NPY Women’s Council

The Tjanpi Desert Weavers Roving Art Centre Model

The Tjanpi Desert Weavers have just had their first exhibition at Japingka Gallery. This article is based on discussions between Annieka Skinner who is a Tjanpi Field Officer and Cynthia Burke, Indigenous artist as well as Arts and Culture Assistant for  Tjanpi Desert Weavers. Fibre art has been part of the artistic output in APY Lands…

Omie 22 feature

Omie Artists Barkcloth From Papua New Guinea

Gallery 2 features fibre art from two very different locations. On the walls we have barkcloth or nioge which are made in different villages of Oro Province in Papua New Guinea. The women artists from fourteen villages have formed a cooperative to show their art around the world. The cloth-making is a fascinating process. The…

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Tjanpi Weavers Bring Some Animal Magic To Japingka

Tjanpi Desert Weavers with their fibre art woven creatures are sharing the gallery with the Omie Artists and their barkcloths. The tradition from Tjanpi Weavers shares some common features with the New Guinea artists in the way a wide group of communities and artists are using materials from the environment to create images about their…

Athena Nangala Granites | Seven Sisters Dreaming

New Generation of Warlpiri Artists From The Tanami Desert

The group of Warlpiri artists who work at Warlukurlangu Art Centre in Central Australia are one of the strongest and most consistent art communities working in remote Australia. They have been exhibiting with us for over a dozen years. As the generations flow through, some very important artists have come and gone in the history…

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Warakurna Artists Paintings From Paradise

The paintings from artists at Warakurna are looking beautiful in the gallery. The show is called “Welcome to Paradise: Paintings of Homelands.” That title comes from a discussion between artist Eunice Porter and Jane Menzies at Warakurna. Eunice said, “These are our homelands. This is where we hunt. This is like paradise to us.” The…

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Ampilatwatja Artists and The Land of Their Dreaming Stories

The artists of Ampilatwatja have provided a beautiful exhibition in Gallery 2. The collection includes some wonderful lengths of silk scarves which are 1.8 metres long. Just like the paintings, they have enormous detail about the country as well as references to bush medicine and bush plants. The vegetation includes the important plants that people…

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Talking About A New Generation at Warlukurlangu Arts

Cecilia Alfonso is the Manager of Warlukurlangu Arts in the desert community of Yuendemu, 300 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs. The art centre is one of the longest-running and most successful Aboriginal-owned art centres in Central Australia. The centre exhibits work from Warlpiri artists. In this interview Cecilia talks about the new generations of artists coming through…

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The Joys and Challenge of Arts Management at Warlukurlangu Arts

Art Centre management in a remote community is a challenging role. Cecilia Alfonso is the Manager of Warlukurlangu Arts in the desert community of Yuendemu, 300 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs. This art centre is one of the longest-running and most successful Aboriginal-owned art centres in Central Australia. It is the home of artwork from the…


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…

1 Warakurna & Tjarlirli Seven Sisters Collab

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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Amanda Westley (Conway-Jones) First Solo Show at Japingka

It’s great to see a room full of paintings by Amanda Westley (Conway-Jones), who is a new artist to Japingka Gallery. Amanda has put together a wonderful group of small and medium-sized paintings showing aspects of her life on the coast at Victor Harbor in South Australia. Her paintings evoke the sense of being by…

Bedford Station by Rover Thomas

Rover Thomas Painting a Highlight at Japingka Gallery

Bedford Station Rover Thomas Jap 006654 This particular painting is one of my favourite paintings by the late great Rover Thomas Joolama. Rover is easily recognised as one of the greats of the Indigenous Fine Art Movement. He is from Warman or Turkey Creek in the Kimberley region of the north-west part of Western Australia.…

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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

Restoration of Ochre Paintings They’re challenging. The thing about ochres is you have to let go of the European way of thinking about and working with colour. Ochres, as they are mixed up and applied can be fairly transparent. To carry out restoration work, I need to know about the artists, the area they are…

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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…

SK Sym blog feature

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…

Maria Josette

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…