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  • When15 July - 14 Aug 2016
  • ArtistWestern Desert Artists
  • Curator Vivien Johnson

Streets of Papunya was curated by the eminent historian of Western Desert painting, Professor Vivien Johnson.  The exhibition presents the new generation of painters from Papunya, legendary hub of Indigenous creativity. Beginning in 1971 a small group of senior men began producing paintings based on the ritual designs drawn in sand and of their body painting. Translating these motifs to acrylic paintings on masonite boards, the efflorescence of desert culture soon had a major impact on the mainstream of contemporary art in Australia.  Many of the revered pioneer artists of this first generation are represented in the exhibition, and provide a context for the current groundswell of painting in Papunya by their descendants, amongst whom women artists constitute the majority.

Celebrating the renaissance that has occurred since the establishment of the Papunya Tjupi Arts Centre in 2007, the exhibition places present-day paintings in an historical context that stretches back to Albert Namatjira, who was the first artist of renown to be associated with Papunya.

Works in this exhibition were drawn from Papunya Tjupi Arts as well as the National Gallery of Australia, the National Museum of Australia, ANU School of Archaeology and Anthropology and the College of Asia and Pacific Studies.

A centrepiece of the exhibition is a ground painting by Papunya women featuring three major Dreaming stories, which has not been exhibited since its creation for the opening of Tandanya cultural centre in 1990. To celebrate the event,  several of Papunya’s most senior law women were present at the opening.

Also a new book by Vivien Johnson published by NewSouth Books with the same title as the exhibition was launched at the opening.

Featured Artists included:

Billy Stockman Tjapaltjarri
Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri
Dennis Nelson Tjakamarra
Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula
Kaapa Mbitjana Tjampitjinpa
Long Jack Phillipus Tjakamarra
Limpi Puntungka Tjapangati
Michael Nelson Jagamarra
Shorty Lungkarta Tjungurrayi
Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri
Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula
Two Bob Tjungurrayi
Walter Tjampitjinpa
William Sandy
Beyula Puntungka Napanangka
Candy Nelson Nakamarra
Charlotte Phillipus Napurrula
Daisy Leura Nakamarra
Doris Bush Nungarrayi
Emily Andy Napaltjarri
Emma Nungarrayi
Gladys Napanangka
Isobel Gorey Nambajimba
Isobel Major Nampitjinpa
Lolene Nungarrayi
Lottie Nangala
Martha MacDonald Napaltjarri
Mary Roberts Nakamarra
Maureen Poulson Napangardi
Narlie Nelson Nakamarra
Nellie Nangala
Pansy Napangati
Punata Stockman Nungarrayi
Tilau Nangala
Topsie Napaltjarri
Wendy Napanangka
with Albert Namatjira

Install Images

Streets of Papunya: The re-invention of Papunya art at ANU Drill Hall Gallery

Review by Sasha Grishin for the Canberra Times 1 August 2016.

Featured image:

Martha McDonald Napaltjarri (in foreground) and Mona Nangala painting at Papunya Tjupi art centre, Papunya , 2015. Photograph: Helen Puckey

The Drill Hall Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, the traditional custodians of the Canberra region, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.