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Jack Britten - Nowlanji

Paintings From The Earth – The Ochres From The Kimberley

We have filled Gallery One with a stunning exhibition titled Made in Ochre, featuring paintings from Kimberley artists. There are paintings by major artists of this tradition including many senior artists who’ve now passed on. Jack Britten – Nowlanji The exhibition gives an overview of the style used by ochre artists, with a particular emphasis…

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Stories of Land and Sky By The Possum Sisters

We have really enjoyed hosting this wonderful exhibition by sisters Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi and Michelle Possum Nungurrayi. Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi – Grandmothers Country, Seven Sisters Dreaming Their work from the exhibition Talking about Country continues a tradition that was started by their famous father Clifford Possum. These two artists have employed some of the technical devices…

Japingka Aboriginal Art Gallery Video Library

New video library for Aboriginal art resources

There has been a noticeable and exciting rise in the number of teachers, students and art lovers keen to learn about Australian Aboriginal art. We are also observing that video is increasingly the way that people learn and share this information. YouTube and Vimeo and other video databases can be so large, Japingka has launched…

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Guess Which Italian Master Inspired Kurun Warun

Kurun Warun was working as a tiler and Aboriginal dancer when he saw a painting in the Gallery of New South Wales by an Italian master. The light and mood of the work captured his imagination and he kept going back to look at it. An artist friend gave him a canvas and from then…

Two Sisters in Disagreement - Kimberly Spratt

Exhibition Showcases Nyoongar Artists in Northam

Exhibition Showcases Nyoongar Artists in Northam Nyoongar artists have opened an exhibition of their work at the Artists Revolution Gallery in Northam. Artists Revolution is a not for profit arts group designed for artists to promote and sell their art in Northam. The project is co-ordinated by artist and facilitator Patricia Rose. She has lived…

Kurun Warun - Solo Exhibition Japingka Aboriginal Art

Kurun Warun On Country, Choices & Living Culture

Interview with Kurun Warun at the launch of his solo exhibition at Japingka Aboriginal Art Gallery – February 2017. Kurun’s family ancestry includes Truganini and he comes from the same tribe as Lionel Rose. Given his first set of boxing gloves at the age of two, he grew up learning to fight, but his true…

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Microscopes, Paint Brushes & the Bones of Life

Professor Nadia Rosenthal has a Ph.D. in biochemistry at Harvard Medical School. She is an award winning cell biologist and passionate Aboriginal art collector. Nadia is currently Scientific Director and Professor at The Jackson Laboratory for Mammalian Genetics. She is described as “a superb scientist, a keen intellect, an outstanding teacher, a visionary leader.” Nadia…

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The Vivid Colours of The Tanami Desert

We love exhibiting the Tanami Desert artists and we have a new collection ready to go from Yuendumu and Nyirripi. We’ve had some wonderful paintings over the years from Alma Nungarrayi Granites. These are the amazing Star Dreaming stories that her family are custodians for. Also for this year’s exhibition we have many new paintings that…

Jimmy Pike Artwork Design on Cushions

Jimmy Pike’s Art In The Market Place

The commercialisation of Jimmy Pike’s artwork onto lifestyle products in the late 1980’s was part of a much bigger design movement in Australia. There were quite a few other artistic figures who were giving us an Australian identity on everyday items, taking Australian design onto products that we wore and we carried with us. Names…

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Kurun Warun – Stones, Eels and Harmonious Landscape

Kurun Warun is an Australian indigenous artist whose family originally comes from the western coastal region of Victoria. This is his first solo exhibition in Western Australia. He’s produced some fantastic images where we experience the feeling of being in the Australian landscape, and other paintings that refer to ceremonial traditions in Aboriginal society. Kurun Warun – Dry…

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Jimmy Pike – Remembering His Life & His Art

By: David Wroth, Japingka Gallery, 2017 In this article Japingka’s David Wroth discusses his experience working with Jimmy Pike, commencing at Fremantle Prison during the early 1980’s. After Jimmy left prison they continued to work together through the marketing of Jimmy’s work with Desert Designs. David talks about Jimmy’s working process and the elements that you’ll see…

Exploring Aboriginal Art in School Visual Art Programs

It’s exciting to see the new Australian curriculum including more emphasis on indigenous art and culture. We have gathered three resources that explore very different approaches to exploring Aboriginal art in schools within the visual arts program. The first is the Bush Medicine Lesson Plans developed by primary visual arts teacher Ana Nail for use in…

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Aboriginal Art Leads A Global Showcase of First Nation Art

Museum Quai Branly in Paris is one of those contemporary museums with a real sense of purpose. The building is designed to get you in the zone for discovering its contents.  It houses a collection of cultural works of First Nations people, or Indigenous people from all around the world. It’s really an ethnographic museum. The museum gives a snapshot of the whole non-Western tradition…

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Science Uses Ochre To Map Ancient Aboriginal Trading Routes

Scientists are looking at the organic makeup of ochre pigments to discover more about the trading routes used by traditional indigenous communities in Australia. The South Australian Museum is using modern spectrometer technology to analyse the types of ochres found on old, possibly pre-contact artefacts. This helps them map the trade routes used by traditional…

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Seton College Aboriginal Culture Program

By: David Wroth, Japingka Gallery, 2016 Jade Dolman is an indigenous artist and educator. In this interview she talks about a program exploring indigenous culture at Seton Catholic College in Perth, Western Australia. How did the Seton College project come about? Sophie Jaques, art teacher at Seton College got in touch with me. She was looking for an…

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Seton College Visual Arts Project

By: David Wroth, Japingka Gallery, 2016 Sophie Jaques is a Visual Arts teacher at Seton Catholic College in Perth. In 2016 she initiated a project for the Year 7 class.  Aboriginal art and culture were explored across whole school year in several subjects. Here she describes how the project came about and how it worked. Can…

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Elsie Napanangka Granites – Art, Sorry Business & The Bulldogs

By: David Wroth, Japingka Gallery, 2016 Tracking down Elsie Napanangka Granites for a chat can be a challenge. There’s a couple of reasons for this. Firstly Elsie’s been away from Alice Springs attending family funerals back in her community. The second reason is that Elsie, like many artists, prefers doing her art rather than talking…

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In Conversation With Maria Josette Orsto

Maria Josette Orsto is an artist from the Tiwi Islands. These islands are part of the Northern Territory in Australia. They are 80 km to the north of Darwin where the Arafura Sea joins the Timor Sea. In this conversation Maria talks about her art and life on the Tiwi Islands. Can you tell me about your favourite place on the Tiwi Islands? My…

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Indigenous Culture In Schools: Sarrita King’s Perspective

By: David Wroth, Japingka Gallery, 2016 Sarrita King has paintings in major Australian and international art collections. In this article she  discusses how she would like to see Aboriginal art explored in schools. She has a message for teachers. What did you see being taught about Australian indigenous culture at school? I feel like I was informed but I…

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How I Came To Be An Artist – Sarrita King

By: David Wroth, Japingka Gallery, 2016 Can you talk a little about where you grew up and when did art start to become a priority in your life? I grew up in Darwin. I was born in Adelaide but moved to Darwin with my Mum and my stepdad. That was definitely the beginning of my…

Wangkatjungka Remote School Mentors Project

The Wangkatjungka Remote School Mentors Project – Part 1

The Principal’s Story – Keith Spencer In 2009 a project at Wangkatjungka Remote Community School brought the teenagers and elders together. The project boosted school attendance to unheard of levels as well as creating an exciting event at Japingka Gallery. Here is the story of that project told by Keith Spencer, Principal of Wangkatjungka Remote School at that time. Quick…

Wangkatjungka school artists

The Wangkatjungka Remote School Mentors Project – Part 2

The Project Facilitator’s Story – David Wroth In 2009 a project at Wangkatjungka Remote Community School brought the teenagers and elders together. The project boosted school attendance to unheard of levels as well as creating an exciting event at Japingka Gallery. Here is the story of that project told by David Wroth of Japingka Aboriginal…

Nada Rawlins at Wangkatjungka

The Wangkatjungka Remote School Mentors Project – Part 3

The Gallery Director’s Story – Ian Plunkett In 2009 a project at Wangkatjungka Remote Community School brought the teenagers and elders together. The project boosted school attendance to unheard of levels as well as creating an exciting event at Japingka Gallery. Here is the story of that project told by Ian Plunkett. Quick links: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 The…

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Tiwi Design Art Centre: A Peaceful Place For Art

By: David Wroth, Japingka Gallery, 2016 Dianne is Studio Co-ordinator for Tiwi Design Art Centre on Bathurst in the Tiwi Islands. In this article she talks about the diversity of her role. She reflects on cultural change within the Arts Centre, the No Humbug rule, wish lists, Work for the Dole and sister girls. Where is the Tiwi…

Bella Kelly
Landscape (sunrise over the Stirlings) c 1970s
acrylic on board
48.3 x 62.5 cm
Collection of Trevor Garland, Photo: Bo Wong
© Estate of Bella Kelly

The Art & Influence of Bella Kelly

Annette Davis, from the City of Albany’s Vancouver Arts Centre is the curator of the Bella Kelly Retrospective, a project supported by the Departments of Culture and the Arts and Regional Development, Royalties for Regions and Country Arts WA. In this interview Annette talks about the artist and her place in history. She discusses the proposal that Bella Kelly…

TIWI Design

Maria Josette Orsto and Art From the Tiwi Islands

We’ve just put up some impressive ochre paintings by Maria Josette Orsto. She’s using some of the ceremonial designs from Tiwi Islands in her work. This artist has a strong family tradition of painting and design. Maria has worked as an artist from a young age, helping out her father Declan Apuatimi with his painting and carving. These impressive…

Ngukurr Artists Ceremonial Bones

Ngukurr Community Artists Have Something Special

I’ve just been hanging the new work from Ngukurr Community in south-east Arnhem Land. What an amazing community of artists. There are nine different language and culture groups all living in the one place. One of the my favourite works is a painting of the painted bones. This is about the whole ceremonial treatment of people after…

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The Exciting Diversity Of Ngukurr Arts

By: David Wroth, Japingka Gallery, 2016 Ngukurr is a remote Indigenous community on the banks of the Roper River in Southeast Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. Jude Emmett is Manager of the Ngukurr Arts Aboriginal Corporation. In this interview he talks about Ngukurr Arts, the work of the artists and the sense of optimism…

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Sarrita King: Fire And What It Is To Be Human

In this interview, Sarrita King talks about the Elements series and the Fire story, as well as the influences of her father William King Jungala and sister Tarisse King. I’ll tell you a story. It brings a smile to my face because it’s so much about my Dad. He would always invite people in by telling a…

Mural West Primary School West Beechboro

Jade Dolman’s Passion For Aboriginal Art Education

Perth artist and educator Jade Dolman was barely out of high school when she realised her passion for indigenous art education. Through her consultancy J D Penangke she runs school workshops to get children excited about Aboriginal art and culture. Here she talks about her own indigenous background and what she would love to see in classrooms across…

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Sarrita & Tarisse King – Reflecting On Gurindji and Wave Hill

Our next exhibition at Japingka Gallery features new works by Sarrita King and Tarisse King, opening 8th April 2016 in Fremantle. This year both Tarisse and Sarrita are thinking about their father William King Jungala, and about his country around Wave Hill. This place is about 600 kilometres south of Darwin and it is the…

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Ana Nail – Curriculum, Aboriginal Art and Intent

Geographe Primary School Visual Arts teacher Ana Nail has a passion for helping her students understand Aboriginal art. Her work in this area has been recognised by a WA Premier’s Primary Teacher of the Year award. Ana contributes to both National and State arts curriculum development. In this interview Ana reflects on what is changing…

Curating An Aboriginal Art Exhibition at Japingka

How I Curate An Aboriginal Art Exhibition at Japingka

I’ve been curating Aboriginal art at Japingka for thirty years and in that time I’ve never had to explain to anyone what I’m doing. A friend dropped by the other day and commented on how very different the room feels with some new paintings up. Our summer exhibition has been hanging for a couple of…

Waru Tjukurrpa – Fire Dreaming

Remarkable Contemporary Aboriginal Fine Dot Painting

In this article Japingka’s Ian Plunkett discusses the work of five contemporary fine dot artists. When it comes to fine dot painting, I definitely have my own favourites. These are people who I admire and whose technique is taking this exciting style of art in a slightly different direction. Jorna Newberry Jorna is the most…

Winnaba Springs - Queenie Mckenzie

Kimberley Ochre Painters – The Old And New

Our next exhibition is an overview of three generations of Kimberley ochre painters. The collection contains some very traditional and well-known artists including Rover Thomas, Jack Britten, Hector Jandany, Henry Wambini and Queenie McKenzie. Many of these artists have passed away now and they are now regarded as the most significant names of the East…

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Turbo Brown – From Homeless To Art World Rising Star

We have a new exhibition opening this month in Gallery 2 featuring the works of Turbo Brown. Turbo has made a bit of a name for himself painting these very direct images of birds and animals from the Australian bush. Born in 1967, Trevor ‘Turbo’ Brown is a Latje Latje man who grew up in…

Petrina Bedford with Jack Dale

Petrina Bedford and Her Grandfather Jack Dale Mengenen

Petrina Bedford is a third generation contemporary indigenous artist. Her grandfathers were the famous painters Jack Dale Mengenen on her mother’s side and Paddy Bedford on her father’s side. Her mother is the Ngarinyin artist Edna Dale. Encouraged by Jack Dale, Petrina painted from a very young age. In this interview she talks about this…

Edna with Jack Dale

What My Father Jack Dale Taught Me

In this interview, Kimberley artist Edna Dale talks about her famous father, the artist Jack Dale Mengenen. About Jack Dale, 
Jack was born with European/Indigenous parentage at a time when this was unacceptable within both cultures. Jack’s mother hid him from the welfare workers who routinely removed mixed-race children from their families. Jack grew up…

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Wandjinas, Ochre and The Art of Mowanjum People

In this interview, Mowanjum artist Leah Umbagai talks about Wandjinas, ochre and the Mowanjum artists exhibition coming up at Japingka. She is joined by Rosita Holmes who is the Art Development Co-ordinator for Mowanjum Art and Cultural Centre. The Mowanjum community represents more than one language group. Which groups are those and why were they…

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Is Process More Important Than Outcome in Aboriginal Art?

In October an exhibition of Aboriginal art work featuring several hundred paintings opened in Bucharest in Romania.  Japingka took a collection of work to that exhibition. For many in the European audience it was their first opportunity to see Aboriginal art and they asked some interesting questions. In this article David Wroth discusses the question…