A New Door Opens at the Gallery

If you are a KO Gallery Club Member, you would have received an email from Kate advising you that as of 30 June 2013, she would be retiring from Kate Owen Gallery. Kate will be concentrating on her two other loves - painting her own artworks and roaming the big wide world!

But never fear, as Kate Owen Gallery and its entire staff are in the secure hands of the new Gallery owner and Director, Geoffrey Henderson. Geoff has been an important studio supplier to the business for the past six years and he knows the Gallery and Aboriginal art world inside out.

Watch this space, as we will introduce you to Geoff and his vision for the gallery in our next blog post!

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Dorothy Napangardi passes away

Sad news I'm afraid. The wonderful artist Dorothy Napangardi has been killed in a car accident this week, along with one of the children travelling with her. She was on a family hunting trip. Dorothy will be mourned by so many people, and my heart goes out to her sisters Judy Watson Napangardi and Margaret Lewis Napangardi, her sisters and fellow artists. We have removed all of Dorothy's works from our website as a sign of respect. Dorothy was a relatively young woman and so talented. Her trademark paintings of country, mainly in black and white, are in collections and museums all over the world. Her passing is a great loss to everyone and to the Aboriginal art world. Kate

Selina Teece Pwerle Exhibition opens this weekend.

This weekend, we are pleased to present a collection of recent works by Selina Teece Pwerle, one of the younger artists from Utopia and beyond.  Surrounded by the big names in Aboriginal art, including Emily Kngwarreye herself, the young Selina learned to paint early, and has continued to evolve her highly individual styles for many years now.

 Selina is a serious painter, and her finely crafted works are perfect for lovers of colour and design.  They make excellent decorator pieces to give a focus and life to contemporary decor.   

Bush Flowers
Alpitye - Bush Flowers - STPAP6121130   70 x 100cm   $1830

Interestingly, while these paintings definitely satisfy that 'wow factor' design requirement, they are at the same time quite mesmerising.  You can suddenly find your eyes have been seduced - and that almost meditatively, they are tracing the paths, patterns and intricate 'dances' Selina creates across her canvas.

This work is bold and eye catching, and yet as you see below, it has Selina's trademark fine dot work to contrast and balance the more vibrant elements.

Alpitye Bush Flowers

Alpitye - Bush Flowers - STPAP6121130 (detail)

Another very attractive style is shown below - her soft spinifex grass paintings - again nestled amid the small dot work which represent the seeds surrounding the plants. 

Alatyeyt Spinifex Grass

 Alatyeyt - Spinifex Grass - STPAP711952  70 x 70cm  $930

 And yet another side of Selina's creative work: very stylised and charming naïve artworks - cameos of country and indigenous camp life.  I especially enjoy these little works, and think them well worth collecting, as they depict traditional Aboriginal life as it was (and as is still being lived to a degree, particularly in some further reaches of Utopia).

Antarrengeny Country

 Antarrengeny - Country - STPAP3131285  45 x 45cm  $830

Although I have shown red tones in this email (probably subconsciously to team with our logo!), Selina's exhibition is alive with many colours, particularly her glorious trademark blues edged with turquoise or white.  Other works use more traditional earthy colours, many of which are reminiscent of fabulous antique tapestries!

read her biography for more information.

Of course we'd love you to join us for drinks this opening weekend and at the same time to relax and enjoy our current display of quality Indigenous art.  All three floors are simply humming at the moment, with irresistable artworks for collectors and home decorators alike - and there's no need to miss it as we are open 7 days from 10 to 6pm.  Feel free to bring your friends and come along!

Alma Nungurrayi Granites

When you enter our black gallery you will feel as if you have been swept up in to the heavens and are swirling around the Milky Way! This is the immediate effect of our solo exhibition of works by Alma Nungarrayi Granites - a painter fast gaining renown in the Aboriginal art scene.    


                                   Alma Nungurrayi Granites  'Yanjirlpirri or Napaljarri - Warnu Jukurrpa (Star or Seven Sisters Dreaming)'  91x91cms  AGRWU796-12

Alma comes from a family of great painters. Her father and mother, Paddy Japaljarri Sims and Bessie Nakamarra Sims, are founding members of the art movement at Yuendumu; a remote community 300km north west of Alice Springs, on the southern fringes of the Tanami Desert. Alma has lived most of her life in Yuendumu and met her husband while they were school children at the local school. She has three daughters and many grandchildren.

Throughout Alma’s life, there has been an emphasis on education. Alma worked as a staff member at the local school in Yuendumu, teaching the local Walpiri language as well as English. Alma would observe elders visiting the school on a regular basis to teach the younger generation about the Jukurrpa (Dreaming) and associated country.

Alma herself became interested in learning more about her heritage and traditions, and decided to attended courses run by the Old Peoples Program and Adult Education Centre. As Alma’s interest in her background grew she learnt more from her aunties, mother, father and other family members about their songs and country where the Jukurrpa takes place.  The ethos of not only learning cultural practices, but bridging traditional Warlpiri life to the new enforced ‘white fella’ way of life is something that Alma tries to apply to her painting career.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Alma Nungurrayi Granites 'Yanjirlpirri or Napaljarri - Warnu Jukurrpa (Star or Seven Sisters Dreaming)'   46X61cms  AGRWU499-12

When Alma stopped working as a teacher’s assistant, she started painting at the local art centre.  However it was not until 2007 that Alma started to paint in earnest. She applied herself and experimented with composition and artistic techniques, while still remaining true and respectful to her Warlpiri culture.

One of the key subjects of Alma’s works is an epic love story; Napaljarri-wanu Jukurrpa (Seven Sisters Dreaming) is the story of the seven ancestral Napaljarri sisters. An ancestral Jakamarra man was in love with the seven Napaljarri sisters and chased them. In a final attempt to escape from the Jakamarra, the sisters turned themselves into fire and ascended to the heavens to become stars. The seven Napaljarri sisters can be found in the night sky today as a cluster of seven stars that is part of the constellation of Taurus (also known as the Pleiades). Jukurra-jukurra (the morning star) is the Jakamarra man, still chasing the Napaljarri sisters across the night sky.

Alma constantly questions her parents and aunties to gain more detailed information and insight in to the stages and sites where the Jukurrpa takes place. With this knowledge, Alma has managed to assertively depict her Jukurrpa with an exuberance and richness which make them the focal point of any setting.


Alma Nungurrayi Granites  - Triptych 'Yanjirlpirri or Napaljarri - Warnu Jukurrpa'   122x138cm  AGRWU3714/12, AGRWU3713/12, AGRWU3715/12


Alma has also mastered the triptych, and we have a selection in our current exhibition that can be separated or placed closely together as one piece.  The separation between the elements and key ancestral figures enhances the tension between the subjects in the painting.

Alma’s paintings have a strong presence, which not only communicates the tension of the story, but the calm and whimsical nature of the night sky. This spectacular exhibition opens with a preview on Thursday 21 March until 8pm at 680 Darling Street, Rozelle, so come along and join us for a glass of wine, view these stellar works, and be transported into the spacey depths of Alma’s paintings.  All artworks are for sale of course, and you can acquire your own very reasonably priced piece of the universe directly from the gallery or through our secure payment portal online.  Artworks can be viewed on Alma's exhibition page right now and as we are open until 9pm this evening, you are welcome to join us for a special preview.