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.




New article featuring the stories of Lorna Fencer Napurrula

You can visit Lorna Fencer's story page on our website to read some of the fascinating  Jukurrpa (Dreamings/stories) that are the subject matter of her paintings.  Images have been included to show how the artworks differ from subject to subject.  Even though she painted only a limited number of dreamings, Lorna's versatile talent ensured that all works were as fresh and individual as if she had never painted the subject before.  At times she concentrated on the detail of a plant, while at others, in the same story, she covered a wide scope showing the plant in its total environment.  All abstracted, all powerful and colourful: Lorna's great artwork paved the way for generations of Indigenous artists to come, by breaking free of tradition to represent the traditional stories in a highly contemporary way. 

Artwork stories are found on our website, along with many other interesting topics, under 'About Aboriginal Art', a link on the left hand side of our home page.  Lorna's page is under the heading of 'Dreamtime Stories'.

You may also like to look at her biography on our website.

Happy reading.

Lorna Fencer Photo Page

Such a powerful and extraordinary person was Lorna Fencer, I think she deserves a photo page on our blog.  As she is no longer around to attend her exhibitions, these photos will give you some insight into the persona of the artist and I think help to put her bold and uncompromising artwork into context. 

The next image is my favourite!


Next a totally different image:  what a range she had!  It was said that she only had to look at someone to immediately assess their inner spirit, and of course, she then acted according to her judgement.


On one famous occasion, Lorna attended her exhibition - the gallery had been preparing it for days, hanging every work just right and ensuring it was perfect for when Lorna and the guests arrived.  It was - but not for Lorna.

She looked around the gallery, and pointed at one of the paintings .... 'That one there - take it down and put it on the floor' she demanded.  Stressed gallery staff rushed to do her bidding.  But then to their dismay, and that of the crowd at the opening, she proceeded to march around pointing to another, and another and another of the artworks and demanding that they too be put on the floor.  Lorna then walked out of the gallery and was gone for about 20 minutes, leaving gallery staff and guests in a state of some consternation.

When Lorna came back, she had stripped to the waist and had donned the appropriate body paint.  The astounded and then delighted onlookers watched as she proceeded to dance around each painting, gesturing, and talking and singing its story at some length.  What an amazing treat, and what an amazing person to give such an impromptu performance to introduce her art!

Lorna liked to introduce her art, although not always in such spectacular fashion.  Here she is, with her typical finger raised posture, as she explains this artwork to an avid audience.  And look at the artwork - as bold and spectacular as the artist herself.

And here she introduces another:



On one occasion in Tasmania, Lorna visited the local gaol.  She spent the first day with the women, painting, talking about the art, singing the stories, joking and engaging everyone present to the point where there was raucous laughter and a very happy and excited audience.  Lorna could play to the crowd and found just the right way to work with the women inmates.

The next day, she spent with the male inmates, many of whom were the most serious offenders and a very rough and normally hard core crowd.  The atmosphere was completely different from the day before, as Lorna manged to touch the hearts of the inmates with her art and her story.  I was told that the men were very quiet and respectful, almost reverent, awed, and some were even tearful during the experience.  What an amazing person Lorna must have been to engender such responses from those whom she encountered.


All this powerful interaction took place, in the big city, far from Lorna's homelands,  in unfamiliar environments and with people whose culture and lifestyles she barely knew.  It is hard to reconcile her extraordinary confidence and ability to inspire others from all walks of life with the fact that Lorna was still a traditional Aboriginal woman, part of, and living in her lands. 

Such a woman was the great and incomparable Lorna Fencer Napurrula!  I wish she were still alive today.