Artitja Fine Art Gallery presents: INUNTJI PUTITJA | Desert Colours

Artitja Fine Art Gallery presents: INUNTJI PUTITJA | Desert Colours

Last Updated: 26 Oct 2022
Abigail Macleod

Presented by Artitja Fine Art Gallery, INUNTJI PUTITJA | Desert Colours is a celebration of Aboriginal artwork from across Country and Australia. Beginning on October 29 and opening officially on November 4, the exhibition will be opened by Chair of the Art Gallery of Western Australia Janet Holmes à Court, with a Welcome to Country by Whadjuk Noongar Sandra Harben. Among exhibitors, three artists from Australia’s oldest, continuously running Indigenous art centre from Ernabella in the Pitjantjatjara lands in South Australia have headed west to attend the opening of their exhibition in South Fremantle.

Elizabeth Dunn Piltati - Elizabeth Dunn's Story

After a five-hour drive from their community and an overnight stay in Alice Springs, Ernabella artists Elizabeth Dunn, Michelle Lewis and Janice Stanley board a plane to Perth, via Darwin for INUNTJI PUTITJA | Desert Colours.  “It is an incredible show of commitment that the artists’ are travelling more miles to attend the opening of this impressive exhibition than if they were to drive from the community” says Director, Anna Kanaris. “All three are established career artists whose works, both paintings and ceramics, are found in private and public collections around the world”.

Also known as Pukatja, Ernabella is situated at the eastern end of the Musgrave Ranges in the far northwest of South Australia on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands). It is sandy, elevated desert country - much colder than inland desert areas. It is also very beautiful country which bursts into colour after the rains.

Michelle Lewis - Honey Ant Dreaming

Established in 1948, today it comprises a community of artists young and old, where ancient stories and craft techniques intersect with contemporary art practice. Ernabella art centre also hosts a ceramics studio on-site where stoneware vessels are made. Using clay to hand-build pots which are fired in the studio, ensures that every level of the process is individually made. Techniques used include Terra sigillata and sgraffito, a scratching technique used to create contrasting textures and patterns.

“We have some very senior artists’ pots included in the exhibition, including a special multi-piece work by Carlene Thompson titled “Emu Country” says Anna.

In explaining the sculptural creation, Carlene, a mother of six, says “...it is typical for the emu (kalaya) to have many children. Like I did with my children, I now raise chicks every day on canvas and in clay in my work”.

Janice Stanley - Pantu (Salt Lake)

You can see the works of these artists and more in INUNTJI PUTITJA | Desert Colours - find out more here.

See more amazing Aboriginal art here.

Art Exhibitions Aboriginal Artija Fine Art Gallery

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