NCollectors Edition #9

Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula

Woman Camped at Kampurrula - Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula
34.0 x 57.5 cm

Woman Camped at Kampurrula
synthetic polymer paint on board
34 x 58 cm

Painted at Kintore, Northern Territory for Papunya Tula Artists, N.T
Private Collection, New South Wales

From the outset of his career as a painter Johnny Warrangkula Tjupurrula intuitively transformed traditional desert ceremonial ground designs into inventive paintings on board and canvas conveying the myths and journeys associated with the sacred waterhole at Ilpilli, the surrounding limestone soaks, its inhabitants and the metaphysics of this country’s creation. His distinctive style is characterized by layering and over-dotting, which Geoff Bardon often referred to as ‘tremulous illusion’.

This painting was executed at Papunya when the artist was at the height of his artistic powers. The painting depicts the storm centre and water or rain dreaming 'totemic site' of Kampurrula, a key site over which the artist had authority, located some 3-400km west of Alice Springs. Geoff Bardon wrote with regard to the artist's paintings of this period; 'Johnny's paintings are of major significance; they are strictly Aboriginal stories without conscious European influence, and yet they can be measured by the modern asthetic. . . he worked with great inventiveness outside the strict confines of totems and formal ritual. His work has anecdotal intimacy, a candid freshness and spontaneity that beguiles through its individuality.' (Bardon, G., 1991, p.53)


Dorothy Djukulul

Gurramatji - Magpie Geese - Collecting Eggs
natural earth pigments on Bark
38 x 106 cm

Bula'Bula Arts, Ramingining, NT
Private Collection, NSW
Cooee Art, Sydney NSW

Dorothy Djukulul was the first female painter in Arnhem Land to recognized in her own right. This is one of her earliest works. Painted at the tanks on the outskirts of Ramingining township, it was inspired by the exhibition in the nearby Milingimbi community of Donald Thompson's photos of the Arafura Swamp in the 1930s. These photographs showed her father and other men collecting goose eggs in canoes. This exhibition also inspired her brother, George Milpurrurru, to paint a number of works on this theme - the flocks of geese number in the tens of thousands and people could collect 44 gallon drums full of these rich and delicious eggs.

In 1986 Dorothy, her brother George and husband Djardi Ashley performed at the Sydney Biennial by constructing a low-relief sand sculpture (a composition of two separated circles around a metre in diametre with grass added like a goose nest). George Milpurrurru and Charlie Djurrutjini (his brother) sat in these rings and rocked back and forth like eggs about to hatch while Jimmy Djelminy sang and the company danced. Later Djardi and Charlie standing back to back inside one of the rings stood in a crucifixion-like pose with their arms outstretched on either side - they rocked back and forth representing the mast of a Macassan prahau (sailing boat) rocking at sea - they were then sung over and washed with water - the cleansing ceremony was the major performance during the opening ceremony of the Biennial.

- Story as related by Djon Mundine OAM

Milliga Napaljarri

Artist’s Country
synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
91 x 61 cm

Warlayirti Artists, WA
Private collection, VIC

Miliga Napaltjarri was already a mature initiated tribeswoman when she moved into the old Balgo Hills mission in the 1940s. She began painting in the late 1980's and had created no more than 60 wondrous paintings by the time she passed away in 1994. These glorious textured works all depict her Kukatja homelands where, with other nomadic women, she camped and looked for foods and tree branches, which were made into the implements that they used in their daily lives.

Milliga’s work was informal, layered and ‘at all times free of artifice’. The lack of visible structure is supplanted by clusters of light colours over dark underlying designs. Shimmering fields of dots pay tribute to the ancestral beings, who the Kukatja people emulate by rubbing their bodies with animal fat and red ochre. Paintings by Milliga and her fellow painters were bright and highly colour-charged when originally painted. However the inexpensive acrylic paint that was provided to the artists in Balgo Hills at that early stage of development at the art centre have degraded over time and now impart a more russet-toned earthy feel.

Nevertheless, in this medium, Milliga created profoundly important and glorious works and left a rare and very precious legacy.


David Yirawala

Lumah Lumah's Daughters
natural earth pigments on bark
43 x 20 cm

Painted at Minjilang (Croker Island) Western Arnhemland
Private Collection, VIC

Born c1894 in his home country of Marugulidban in Western Arnhem Land, Yirawala’s boyhood was spent traveling over the land and learning his father’s sacred designs, songs and stories. His initiation was a long journey, culminating only when at 45 years of age he was endowed with the final secrets. He became a great ritual leader, with knowledge over all the secular and sacred ceremonial content of Kunwinjku iconography.

In the late 1950's he moved to Croker Island (Minjilang), where a number of artists had collected due to the comparative artistic freedom of the Methodist mission in comparison to the one operating at Oenpelli. However the extent of this freedom is arguable, as Yirawala was apparently unaware that the paintings he created over a nine-year period had been sold through the mission until an encounter with collector Sandra Le Brun Holmes in 1964. On telling him the truth, Yirawala apparently confided, 'all my law. Dreaming story big mob I make, nine year. I bin lose him whole lot, Marain business, Lorrgon, Ubar, magic, all finish. My eye little bit no good now' (cited in Holmes 1992: 15).

With Holmes' support over the ensuing years, Yirawala created more than 150 paintings, 139 of which now reside in the National Gallery of Australia. This marked the first time in the history of the Aboriginal art movement when a ceremonial cycle could be seen visually in its' entirety.

We have clients currently looking for works by:
William Barak
Albert Namatjira
Rover Thomas
Lin Onus
Paddy Bedford

If you are interested in selling works by any of these artists we would love to hear from you.

Untitled by Susie Bootja Bootja Napaljarri
Untitled - 1990
Susie Bootja Bootja Napaljarri 1

120 x 60 cm

Aranda Landscape by Albert Namatjira
Aranda Landscape - 0.195
Albert Namatjira

23.5 x 33.5 cm

Woman Camped at Kampurrula by Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula
Woman Camped at Kampurrula - 1973
Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula

34 x 57.5 cm

Untitled  by Emily Kame Kngwarreye
Untitled - 1989
Emily Kame Kngwarreye 7

90 x 60cm

Gurramatji - Magpie Geese - Collecting Eggs by Dorothy Djukulul
Gurramatji - Magpie Geese - Collecting Eggs - 1986
Dorothy Djukulul 1

38 x 106 cm