KUNMANARA MUNGKURI OAM (1946 - 2021)
Alcaston Gallery is honoured to present a very special collection of paintings by the late Kunmanara Mungkuri OAM (1946 - 2021), created in the final year of the artist’s life. This exclusive online exhibition, presented in conjunction with the artist's family and Iwantja Arts, respectfully pays tribute to Mr Mungkuri; a celebrated contemporary Australian artist, highly respected Tilpi, important Yankunytjatjara elder and cultural leader.
Born in 1946 near Kaltjiti (Fregon) in South Australia, Mr Mungkuri forged a career as a highly-skilled horseman and travelled extensively across remote Australia working as a stockman. Over the course of his life, Mr Mungkuri became renowned as a revered cultural lawman and community leader in Indulkana who shared his immense understanding of culture, history, and Country through his art and his mentorship to others. In 2020 Mr Mungkuri was formally recognised for his commitment and service to both the Indulkana community and to Australian Visual Arts generally, with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
Mr Mungkuri's paintings are evocative depictions of the landscape, flora and cultural imagery of his Country and the lands he travelled as a stockman. His work preserves and passes on an understanding and respect for the environment and stories of his traditional lands; knowledge and stories that were passed on from his ancestors before him.
'I have and hold the old people’s Tjukurpa (Ancestral Stories). The old people’s important stories of long ago. I have the old important stories. I would listen and listen to my grandfathers and fathers, and uncles. I would listen.
Now with a lot of my paintings, I have painted trees. That’s our culture – the trees are our culture. Our fathers would use these trees to make spear throwers, kiti (resin-glue), nulla-nulla (hunting stick) from Mulga trees. pear throwers were used for hunting. Our ancestors - those who have passed - were using our trees. This is all our culture.'
Following his passing in December 2021, Mr Mungkuri leaves an immense artistic and cultural legacy; one that honours his dedication to culture, Country and the community of Indulkana.
By request of Mr Mungkuri's family and community, in honour of his enduring legacy and in support of his family, we respectfully present this online exhibition of Mr Mungkuri's paintings.
© The Artist, Iwantja Arts and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne 2022
Beverly Burton • Ngayuku Kamiku Ngura, Holding onto Grandmother’s Country
Alcaston Gallery is thrilled to present Ngayuku Kamiku Ngura - Holding onto Grandmother’s Country, the first solo exhibition of new paintings and ceramic works by Beverly Burton at Alcaston Gallery, one of the most exciting and innovative emerging artists working today at Amata in the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands of far north-west South Australia.
Shirley Macnamara • Through the Gidgea and Gum Trees. Over Spinifex Ridges and Black Soil Plains - Major Commission for CIAF 2022
Alcaston Gallery represented artist Shirley Macnamara recently presented the largest sculpture of her career at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair in 2022, as one of 18 leading Queensland Indigenous artists commissioned to present new work at CIAF's inaugural Big Sculpture Showcase.
Renowned for her artistic and sculptural expressions of Country, Macnamara creates objects such as guutu (an Indjalandji word meaning ‘a vessel to carry’), baskets and large installations that reflect forms in nature. Poetic objects of immense beauty and poignancy; her works are evocative representations of the harsh, dry, yet beautiful region of her traditional Indjalandji Country surrounding Camooweal and her home on Mt Guide in far north-west Queensland.
Macnamara’s most recent work, the large-scale sculpture Through the Gidgea and Gum Trees. Over Spinifex Ridges and Black Soil Plains, takes the form of a large scale guutu. Entwined in horseshoes, horsehair, spinifex, ochre, steel and copper wire, this work is an embodiment of Macnamara’s relationship to the land - created from materials as entwined in this region as they are in Macnamara’s own history.
The catalogue for Through the Gidgea and Gum Trees. Over Spinifex Ridges and Black Soil Plains, including details of Macmanara’s process and purpose in creating this powerful work, the largest of her career to date, can be accessed here: SHIRLEY MACNAMARA • Through the Gidgea and Gum Trees. Over Spinifex Ridges and Black Soil Plains.
Tiger Yaltangki - Let There Be Rock
Alcaston Gallery is thrilled to present a new body of work by one of Australia’s most innovative and exciting contemporary artists, Tiger Yaltangki in his ninth solo exhibition, 'Let There Be Rock'.
Defined as one of Australia’s most idiosyncratic contemporary artists, leading Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands artist Tiger Yaltangki’s intersectional paintings merge influences and iconography from both inherited Aṉangu cultural knowledge and popular culture. In particular, Yaltangki revels in the vivacious artistic portrayal of late 1960s and 1970s rock music idols, science fiction characters and British mod-comedians; whimsical subjects who figuratively burst out of the canvas in an explosion of vibrant colour and electrifying energy.
By aligning these two major creative influences – one purporting to deep cultural significance, the other alluding to the post-modern – Yaltangki offers a unique artistic perspective that embodies contemporary life in Australia today.
MARY KANNGI (C.1925 - 2005) - LIMITED RELEASE
Alcaston Gallery presents a remarkable selection of paintings by the late Mary Kanngi (c.1925 - 2005).
Born in 1925 near the banks of the Moyle River in the Northern Territory, Kanngi and her family were among the first settlers of the Daly River Mission in the 1950s, in the region of Ngambu Ngambu (Peppimentarti). A master of colour and composition Kanngi has been likened to the "Northern Territory's Jackson Pollock" (The Guardian, 2019), captivating the art world with her bold, highly gestural and expressive brushstrokes and a broad palette of startling colour.
Kanngi’s paintings depict her homeland of Ngambu Ngambu and the surrounding areas; her bold and expressive style evoking the lush billabongs, flora and fauna of her Country. With an innate sense of colour and design, Kanngi's style was unique and inimitable.
Following the artist's passing in 2005, Mary Kanngi has been remembered as an extraordinary artist with a determined spirit. This important suite of works, acquired over the course of Kanngi's artistic career from the Merrepen Art Centre, has been archived by Alcaston Gallery out of respect for the artist following her passing, until now. Alcaston Gallery is honoured to present this limited release in acknowledgement and respect of one of the Daly River region’s most influential artists.
Betty Kuntiwa Pumani - Kunpu Naranyi (Standing Strong)
Alcaston Gallery is honoured to present a solo exhibition by acclaimed Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands artist Betty Kuntiwa Pumani.
Recognised as one of the most distinctive painters in Australian contemporary art working today, Pumani’s large scale visionary compositions depict her mother’s Country of Antara, a significant ceremonial site north-west of Mimili community in north west South Australia.
An artist of sophistication and restraint, Pumani continues to paint using her refined and distinctive palette of cobalt blues, vibrant reds and shimmering cream and grey - intense and saturated colours that have become synonymous with her practice – yet in this new body of work Pumani explores innovative compositional techniques, utilising complex motifs and tonal variations, signalling an exciting artistic progression.