Left to right: Papunya artists Martha McDonald Napaltjarri, Charlotte Phillipus Napurrula and curator Vivien Johnson at the Streets of Papunya exhibition at RMIT Gallery.
Artist and curator floor talk – Friday 6 May 1-2 pm
Charlotte Phillipus Napurrula, painter and Chairperson of Papunya Tjupi Art Centre (2010-14) and Vivien Johnson, an eminent scholar of Papunya art, will be giving a floor talk on the works in the Streets of Papunya exhibition, exploring the legacy and renaissance of art work at this renowned location in Central Australia, and the extraordinary work of the women painters in this celebrated location of art production.
The Papunya Tjupi art centre was established in the Northern Territories’ Western Desert region in 2007, and the Streets of Papunya exhibition showcases work from the centre, as well as the region’s historical association with painting.
Papunya is a Western Desert town regarded as the birthplace of contemporary Aboriginal painting, dating back to Albert Namatjira’s final paintings, executed in 1959, through to examples from the 1970s and 80s when the town was simultaneously experiencing it’s ‘glory days’ and dark times as the ‘carpetbagging capital of the desert’, and on to the modern renaissance
When: Friday 6 May – artist and curator floor talk. Free – all welcome.
Time: 1-2 pm
Location: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne.
Welcome: RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies (far right) shows Papunya artists Martha McDonald Napaltjarri (holding her hand), Charlotte Phillipus Napurrula and curator Vivien Johnson around the Streets of Papunya exhibition which opens 6-8 pm Thursday 5 May at RMIT Gallery.
Making Connections: Artists visit Ngarara Willim Centre
(seated, left to right) Martha McDonald Napaltjarri and Charlotte Phillipus Napurrula, with staff from RMIT’s Ngarara Willim Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
While at RMIT University for the Streets of Papunya exhibition opening and floor talk at RMIT Gallery, visiting artists Martha McDonald Napaltjarri and Charlotte Phillipus Napurrula were given a warm welcome and afternoon tea by staff at RMIT’s Ngarara Willim Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
The Ngarara Willim Centre supports and encourages indigenous students throughout their studies at RMIT, and Martha and Charlotte, who both have strong backgrounds as educators in their community, were interested in hearing about the Centre’s activities.
Charlotte Phillipus Napurrula in between her work (left) and her father Long jack Phillipus Tjakamarra’s work, in the Streets of Papunya exhibition at RMIT Gallery.
Charlotte Phillipus Napurrula is the eldest daughter of Long Jack Phillipus Tjakamarra, one of the founders of the desert art movement and one time Chairman of Papunya Tula Artists. Her mother was Long Jack’s first wife Suzette Napaltjarri, who was the daughter of important Pintupi elder Kamutu, one of the earliest Pintupi arrivals in Hermannsburg from the west.
Charlotte learnt to paint by assisting her father Long Jack on his canvases, but was busy with her teaching commitments and did not paint herself for Warumpi Arts in the 1990s and early 2000s. She has been a member of Papunya Tjupi Arts since its inception.
For a long time Charlotte was active in various teaching roles in Papunya School, especially the preschool. Although she has stepped back because of her health, she continues her commitment to education and cultural maintenance through her involvement as a language consultant on the 4th Edition of Ken Hansen’s Pintupi/Luritja Dictionary.
Martha McDonald Napaltjarri next to two of her paintings in the Streets of Papunya exhibition at RMIT Gallery.
Martha McDonald Napaltjarri ) is the only child of founding Papunya Tula artist Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi and his first wife. Martha worked with linguist John Heffernan in the Papunya Literature production and Adult Education program and in the Papunya pre-school alongside her sister Linda Tjunkaya Syddick Napaltjarri. She began painting in 2008 for Papunya Tjupi and rapidly emerged as a talented painter. Martha also enjoys making baskets and necklaces for Papunya Tjupi. She is an important elder in the Papunya community.
Streets of Papunya: The reinvention of Papunya painting, curated by Vivien Johnson, RMIT Gallery 6 May – 11 June, 2016.
People who wish to purchase works from the Papunya Tjupi Art Centre might also be interested in the exhibition Keepers of Place: new works from Papunya Tjupi, 24 May – 4 June 2016, Presented by McCulloch & McCulloch in association with Papunya Tjupi Arts.