Barbara Weir Charity Exhibition opens Saturday 16 June


 'Grass Seeds'    120 x 182cm    Acrylic on Linen   Normally: $14,975  Sale price: $11,980

Barbara Weir is an extremely talented, inventive, creative, energetic and hard working artist, who paints in a number of different styles and who pushes her own artistic boundaries in doing so.

The cumulative effect of her amazing work ethic, the fact that she comes from Utopia (birthplace of Indigenous womens art and an area about 280km north east of Alice Springs), that she is part of a highly talented family (from her legendary mother, artist Minnie Pwerle, to a number of close relations who were/are respected artists), and not the least, the story of her own difficult life experiences at the hands of the white administration of the day (as a survivor of the 'Stolen Generation', has seen Barbara Weir become a highly collectible artist, and one who continues to grow in stature at a steady rate.

Along with the strong support of the dynamic Utopian community of artists, Barbara's career as an artist was inspired by the work of her adopted grandmother Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Emily's work had a profound impact on her and in the early 1990's she began seriously to explore her artistic talents. Highly experimental in her approach, Barbara tried many mediums and in 1994 went to Indonesia with other artists to explore the art of batik. This gave her new insights into her own process and she returned full of ideas on how to develop her own style. 

Barbara's works constantly draw upon her life force, her country, her ancestry and the ancient stories embodied in her Indigenous culture.  Whilst she paints in several styles, reinventing her voice at the same time, many of her styles are now almost iconic (such as her 'grass seeds' paintings, many of which are featured in this show).

This is a special exhibition, as we are offering  20% off the list price on all featured pieces until the 30th June.  The discount will not affect the artist's income of course, as she has already been paid in full for all the artworks, and in fact will recieve a further 5% Resale Royalty payment on all artworks sold in the show.  

Discounted price offers such as this are rarely offered on Barbara's Weir's works and of course you can pick up a well priced artwork from this opportunity.

Alternately, for those of you who have a philanthropic tendency, please be aware that our gallery now supports the charity 'Sugar in the Bush' in its work to educate and assist remote communities in dealing with Diabetes - a common and difficult to treat condition for Indigenous people, especially in remote areas. Many of our artists suffer from this condition.  This is just one way in which we choose to give back to the Indigenous people who create our beautiful artworks.    

Clients are therefore offered the opportunity to donate all or part of their price discount to 'Sugar in the Bush':  If you do so, your name will be forwarded to the charity along with your donation and tax receipts are available for all donations.

We do hope you will make it along to this special exhibition - enjoy a complimentary glass of wine from our bar and spend some time enjoying Barbara's works as well as the everchanging paintings on show in the rest of the gallery.  We look forward to seeing you soon...

Linda Syddick Exhibition

One of the most interesting Aboriginal Artists painting today, and a 'must' for any Aboriginal Art Collection, is Linda Syddick Napaltjarri (AKA Linda Syddick). 

Although not mainstream, Linda is well known, an accomplished artist with a unique 'voice', and has a loyal collector base. Her works are quirky and highly collectable, because they are not only fine artworks with superb composition, line, texture and movement, but also idiosyncratic representations of the artist's stories and experience.

Linda Syddick    'Three Wise Men'    LSYAP12111071   60 x 60cms    $1,995

Works such as the 'Three Wise Men' above,  display the spiritual dichotomy experienced by many Aboriginal people, caught between their traditional beliefs and the influence of western religious teachings. This is demonstrated beautifully by this nativity scene painting, where the three wise men and the baby Jesus are all depicted as Mimi Spirits.  There are several paintings in the show that follow this theme:  a product of Linda's completely traditional upbringing until the age of 9, followed immediately by life in a Lutheran Mission - rather a contrast in ideologies to say the least.

Other paintings featured are Linda's famous 'Windmill' works,  the delightful 'Sulky Man' paintings, and more.

Opening drinks will be served tomorrow, Saturday 14th April, at 680 Darling Street,  from 12 noon, and all are welcome.

This is interesting and extremely affordable exhibition, and with most works priced under $2000 you can acquire your own piece of collectible Aboriginal art history complete with full authentication of course.

What’s new to the Collectors’ Gallery

Our sun-filled third floor gallery has been glowing with stunning artworks of both exceptional aesthetic merit as well as historical significance since October last year. By dedicating this expansive space solely to museum-quality pieces, our collection has grown significantly as we continue to acquire special works by those artists who have marked their place within the history of the Aboriginal art movement. Private collectors have come forward with paintings they have had hidden away in dark storerooms to contribute to this gallery, some having never been on public display. Community owned and run art centres have also provided us with their most ‘superstar’ paintings. Our collection continues to expand and evolve in exciting ways. 

Representing a host of Australia's greatest master artists from across the central desert of Australia, this gallery functions as an opportunity to acquire the best of contemporary Aboriginal art in an inviting and informative environment. By virtue of both cultural and artistic importance, the works could take pride of place in both museums and public galleries anywhere in the world. Leading indigenous artists represented here include Clifford Possum, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Turkey Tolson, Mick Namarari, Johnny Walangkura, Billy Stockman and many many more.

Three recent additions to our Collectors’ Gallery:

Patrick Mung Mung,  NGARRGOOROON - WAPMM461/08, natural ochre pigment on canvas, 120 x 180cm, $16,550

The staff were thrilled to acquire this striking, yet subtle ochre work by Warmun’s Patrick Mung Mung. Soft and delicate tones in sand and teal are contrasted with rich and deep browns, marouns and charcoal. The dot work outlines the undulating landscape of the Warmun region and ads a shimmering effect on the eye. The naïve style trees give a skewed perspective on the land, adding further character to the bold design. This is a strong work by Patrick Mung Mung, clearly displaying all he is capable of as an artist.

Patrick Mung Mung  is a senior artist, and respected elder of the Warmun Community in the East Kimberley. Painting since 1991, Patrick’s intricate knowledge of his country and cultural memory are powerfully linked in his work.  Patrick’s work is strongly influenced both aesthetically and thematically by the previous generation of Warmun artists, which include the famous Rover Thomas and Paddy Jaminji.

Eubena Nampitjin, Lucy Yukenbarri, Muntja  Nungura (collaboration)  - KARYANKGU (rockhole), MALIKI, TJINJULLU (soakwater)
ELMX645/96, acrylic on linen, 120 x 180cm, $29,300

What a rare and special collaborative piece by three highly acclaimed Balgo artists; Eubena Nampitjin, Lucy Yukenbarri and Muntja Nungura. All three artists depict their Dreamings in unique aesthetics, yet mutal tones and colours binds the three sections of this painting together into an extraordinary harmony and unity. The rich colours and linear shapes combine to create an artwork that has been beaming from one of our most prominent positions in the Collectors’ Gallery for the past weeks. 

The small Aboriginal Community of Balgo, Western Australia has produced some fantastic artists since the inception of an artist cooperative. Linked by both the Great Sandy desert and the Tanami Desert the artists draw from a rich cultural history in their work. 

Pansy Napangardi, Willy Wag Tail - PNAX001, acrylic on linen, 122 x 183cm, $16,500

In this recent acquisition, Warlpiri artist Pansy Napangardi depicts her Willy Wag Tail Dreaming in a dynamic yet balanced design. The symmetrical lines guide the eye into the concentric circle at the centre. The mix of warm and cool colours, all marked intricate dot work, creates a colour tension that shimmers and varies in different lighting conditions. 

Pansy Napangardi grew up on a mission settlement at Haast Bluff in Central Australia. She moved to Alice Springs in 1989, where she is now considered to be one of the foremost artists from Alice Springs. Pansy, with her sister  Eunice Napangardi, commenced painting on canvas very early in terms of the history of the movement. Although it has been said that Aboriginal women have only been painting since the 1980's, Pansy began recording her dreamings in the early 1970's at the start of the Papunya Art Movement and reportedly observed some senior male Papunya artists there to develop her technique.  Her paintings represent the fertility and glory of her traditional land, making a statement about the relationship of the her people and the land. Pansy's work gives voice to her traditional beliefs and symbolises a triumphal cultural statement by the once near defeated people of the Central Australian Desert. In 1989 Pansy won the 6th National Aboriginal Art Award and in 1993 won the Northern Territory Art Award. She is held in major collections throughout Australia, including the National Gallery of Victoria, The Queensland Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, amongst others.

All are available for purchase, complete with associated documentation, photos and videos where available. 

Bush Medicine Leaves

As the Register at Kate Owen Gallery I take an immense pleasure in receiving and displaying new works from Utopian women Rosemary Petyarre (Pitjara), Gloria Tamerre Petyarre (Pitjara) and Jeannie Petyarre (Pitjara) (Petyarre does not signify a surname, rather a skin group within the Anmatyerre language).

Situated almost three hundred kilometres north–east of Alice Springs (In The Northern Territory) Utopia, a former cattle station, became renowned in the 1970’s for its batik: a skill passed down from a group of women (including Rosemary Petyarre) who had travelled to Indonesia to learn different techniques in textile designs.

Rosemary, Gloria and Jeannie’s artwork all encompass the same theme of the “Bush Medicine Leaves” receiving international and domestic recognition, and exhibiting in collections in France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.  

Yam Seed Dreaming Bush Medicine Leaves Bush Medicine Leaves
Rosemary Petyarre (Pitjara)
Yam Seed Dreaming - RPEG0150
Jeannie Petyarre (Pitjara)
Bush Medicine Leaves - JPEG0200
Gloria Tamerre Petyarre (Pitjara)
Bush Medicine Leaves – GPEG0067

Medicine leaves are traditionally used in the alleviation of skins ailments and it is little wonder that their painted representations have become popular in Western Art Therapy for their calming qualities, and rejuvenating aesthetic. The leaves are traditionally dried on the desert floor, and drank hot in a ceremony overseen by a bush doctor; the artworks encapsulate the process of drying out the leaves, with a repetitive pattern creating an optical allusion: capturing the traditional imagery and symbology of Utopian culture.

These expressive and gestural works invoke a sense of fluidity and energy, brought on through their vibrant colour and lively composition.