Region: Milikapiti, Melville Island
Conrad Tipungwuti was born in his home country of Ranku on Melville Island. Tipungwuti’s painting reflects the influence of Tiwi cultural tradition. His painting focuses Tapara, the moon man and the late wet season Kulama initiation ceremony, celebrated when the sacred yams become ripe on the island. In 2013, he was a finalist in the Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards at the Art Gallery of Western Australia.
Lives and works in Beijing, China
Huang Xu’s photographs tackle “…the changing face of Chinese culture”. The Flower series is derived from the idea of the ‘Four Gentlemen’- plum blossom, orchid, chrysanthemum and bamboo. These plants were the Confucian symbols for the four qualities of a learned-man, one of the most popular themes in traditional Chinese painting.
Language: Gija (Kimberley Kriol)
Lena Nyadbi was born at Warnmarnjulugun Lagoon (near Greenvale Station) and grew up on Old Lissadell Station. Nyadbi began painting in 1998 when the Warmun Art Centre commenced operation. Nyadbi paints both the Dayiwul (the barramundi) dreaming and Jimbirla (spearhead) country. In 2006, Nyadbi was one of eight artists featured at the Musee du Quai Branly project in Paris and the relationship continued in 2013 when Nyadbi’s Dayiwul Lirlmim was recreated in large-scale on the rooftop.
Born: c. 1976
Country: Mindi Rardi
Lisa Uhl lives in Fitzroy Crossing in the West Kimberley area of Western Australia. She conveys her love for home through her abstract paintings of her country and her community. She displays her unique cultural connection to place through art. Lisa’s layering of colours creates an atmospheric rhythm, which speaks of the humidity and expanse of the Kimberley.
Language: Gija (Kimberley Kriol)
Mabel Juli was born at Five Mile, near Moola Boola Station (south of Warmun), and was taken as a baby to Springvale Station, her mother’s country. She is a strong law and culture woman and an important ceremonial singer and dancer. Juli started painting in the 1980s at the same time as Queenie McKenzie and Madigan Thomas. The women used to watch Rover Thomas paint and one day he said to them, “you try yourself, you might make good painting yourself.” Juli is a dedicated, innovative artist who continues to work in natural earth pigments on canvas. She primarily paints the Ngarranggarni (Dreaming) stories of her country Darrajayin which is covered largely by Springvale Station.
Born: c. 1952
Clan: Dhalwanu, Nunburundi
Malaluba Gumana mainly paints her mother’s Galpu clan designs of dhatam (waterlily), djari (rainbow), djaykun (filesnake) and wititj (olive python). Her work also represents Garrimala, a billabong near where she lives at Gangan, a sacred site for the Galpu clan.
Clan: Djapu, Balamumu
Marrnyula Munungurr is part of a strong and highly acclaimed lineage of artists. Her late father, Djutjadjutja, was a highly distinguished artist and in his last years she assisted him with his sacred Djapu paintings as well as developing her own style of narrative painting. Her thoroughly modern geometric designs are interwoven with finely detailed traditional patterns. Her subtle yet elegant palette, which is dominated by generous white ochre, confidently suggests a long and successful career.
Patrick Mung Mung
Born: c. 1948
Patrick Mung Mung is a senior artist at Warmun Art Centre and an elder within the Warmun community in the East Kimberley. Mung Mung started painting in 1991 and was instrumental in establishing the Warmun Art Centre in 1998. His knowledge of country and his cultural memory of family, land and work are powerfully linked within his painting. Mung Mung’s paintings are influenced directly by the previous generation of Warmun artists in their raw directness and composition.
Region: Melville Island, Northern Territory
Raelene Kerinauia was born on Bathurst Island and raised by her grandmother. She began designing screens for fabric printing in 1985 as part of the adult education programme in Milikapiti and then started to paint at Jilamara Arts and Crafts in 1989. Since 1999, she has used the traditional painting technique of a comb (kayimwagakini). Combs were used for ceremonial body painting application and are typically made from bloodwood or ironwood. She primarily paints Jilamara (design) drawn from the body painting which accompanies the Pukamani (funeral) and Kulama (initiation/yam) ceremonies.
Part of a new generation of contemporary artists working at Maningrida, Sonia Namarnyilk has explored the traditional painted designs of this region and produced extremely elegant and innovative carved wooden sculptures. Her authentic designs are a subtle variation on traditional practices and her hand-crafted, slender wood Mimihs and Yawk yawks are exquisitely produced. Her delicate application of earth ochres applied with remarkable precision is breathtaking and weightless. Namarnyilk works alongside her husband, Don Djorlom, who shares a common approach and aesthetic.
Vanessa Russ is a contemporary artist who currently lives and works in Perth. Her family is from the Kimberley region in Western Australia. Russ’ artwork explores an on-going relationship with mark making, primarily through the use of charcoal on paper. They focus on the notion of ‘memory’, particularly those of her home and country. “Like a rivers watermark, memory reminds us of who we are and where we are going. It helps to reconnect us to the things that give life meaning…” For Russ, this meaning comes from her father’s country around the Gibb Rover Cattle Station. Her art practice is constantly referencing the rivers and roads throughout this area.