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COUNTRY X COUNTRY

Kitty Napanangka Simon x Neil Ernest Tomkins
Curated by Gadigal Artist Konstantina

27 July - 26 August 2023

COUNTRY X COUNTRY

Kitty Napanangka Simon x Neil Ernest Tomkins
Curated by Gadigal Artist Konstantina

27 July - 26 August 2023

17 Thurlow Street Redfern

A new era of Cooee Art represents an exciting development for the gallery and for the wider art community in Australia. Although the gallery will remain focused on First Nations art, going forward as Art Leven, the gallery will exhibit non-Indigenous alongside First Nations artists, through specially curated individual projects. 


The new gallery vision will focus on transparent dialogue, offering an opportunity beyond the ordinary commercial relationship between artist and gallery, fostering an environment of openness and direct exchanges between artists. The collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists offer a chance for new and innovative artistic expressions to emerge, and for meaningful conversations to take place. The program offers an opportunity to build not just a closed commercial relationship between artist and gallery, but an environment of openness and comfort in understanding the commercial gallery system through exchanges with other free-agent artists.


country x Country is the first iteration of the new annual program, launching as the inaugural exhibition in the new chapter of the gallery on July 27th 2023.


The specific focus of this project and the resulting exhibition was mark-making and painting craft, especially when it comes to landscape painting and ways of seeing country. The workshop was based not around specific imagery, but around approach, how the tangible landscape is portrayed through the artists’ unique brushstrokes.


The painting project leading up to this exhibition was graciously hosted by the Warlpiri owners of Warnayaka Arts in Lajamanu over five days of painting at the art centre studio. The ‘workshop’ was not led or guided, open to anyone in the community who wanted to partake.


As early as the first day of painting in the centre, the joyful trio of Kitty Napanangka Simon, Annie Napanangka Simon and Biddy Napanangka Timms bestowed Tomkins with his Warlpiri skin name. For the rest of the workshop, the ladies addressed Neil only as Tjapanangka. After first setting up on the ground outside in the all-but-unused men’s painting area, Neil soon found his spot in the studio – crouched, as he often does in his Sydney studio space, on a paint-splattered mat, close by Kitty’s favoured painting table.


Within the buzz of Kitty’s return to painting the were many peaceful moments, the soundscape consisting only of the ladies chatting and laughing in Warlpiri, often humming along to their songlines playing through speakers, and the ever active scratching of brush bristles on linen. Some, between sessions, Kitty would turn to watch Tomkins work. She would smile and point to a corner of his painting, recognising the depicted place in or around town. She’d call out his name, Tjapanangka!, and confirm with him, teach him the Warlpiri term, or tell an anecdote about the spot. Each time, his smile beamed with pride at Napanangka Simon’s recognition.


Artist Profile Kitty Simon Napangakga


Artist Profile Neil Ernest Tomkins

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - BY OLD STATION

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - BY OLD STATION

price

AU$5,500.00

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - EMU ROCKHOLE AGAIN

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - EMU ROCKHOLE AGAIN

Sold

AU$3,000.00

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - WATER TOWER IN TOWN

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - WATER TOWER IN TOWN

Sold

AU$0.00

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - CORNER OF WAMPANA ROAD

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - CORNER OF WAMPANA ROAD

Sold

AU$0.00

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - WEST HOOKER CREEK AGAIN

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - WEST HOOKER CREEK AGAIN

price

AU$5,500.00

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - KITTY'S HOUSE

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - KITTY'S HOUSE

price

AU$3,000.00

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - (BUSH BANANA THERE)

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - (BUSH BANANA THERE)

Sold

AU$0.00

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - LOOKING AT RARRI STREET

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - LOOKING AT RARRI STREET

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AU$0.00

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - WEST HOOKER CREEK

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - WEST HOOKER CREEK

price

AU$4,500.00

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - COLLECTORS EDITION COLLAGE

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - COLLECTORS EDITION COLLAGE

price

AU$40.00

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - SLOW DOWN (KITTY'S HOUSE AGAIN)

NEIL ERNEST TOMKINS - SLOW DOWN (KITTY'S HOUSE AGAIN)

Sold

AU$0.00

EX 255

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