Lorna Fencer Napurrula Exhibition - 2 March 2013

Lorna Fencer Napurrula (c.1920 - 2006) has long been recognised as one of Australia's most influential and talented Indigenous artists, and we are fortunate indeed, following her triumphant touring exhibition in 2012, to show an exhibition of her works - this time all works are for sale.

In the Aboriginal Art world, Lorna's artistic voice has been one of the strongest and most original (in keeping with her own large personality).  She transformed the way that traditional stories were painted with an increasingly vigorous, free, colourful and marvellously creative expression - and the older she  became and the more experienced, this joyous outpouring became more and more exciting.

Lorna Fencer Napurrula  "Ngarlajiya by Spring Water"   138 x 303cm  LNFJ108

Our exhibition opens on 2 March 2013 in the ground floor gallery at 680 Darling Street, Rozelle and of course there is an online exhibition too for our international and interstate clients.  

All artworks will be online from 1 March and available for purchase online or in the gallery.  Enquiries to +612 95555283 or info@kateowengallery.com.

For a taste of Lorna's artwork as it relates to her traditional stories, visit our Dreamtime Stories section on the artist.  Her stories are a fascinating insight into the Aboriginal culture and the artwork is of course sublime.

Jack Dale passes

It is with much sadness that we announce the death last week of the venerable Kimberley elder Jack Dale, aged 93.   We had a wonderful exhibition of his works - what turned out to be his last body of work - a couple of months ago.  The show was special because Jack virtually got off his sick bed to start painting with enthusiasm after several years of sickness and debilitating strokes.  

As many elder artists do, Jack turned to stories of his spiritual ancestors the Wandjina, and of his early life in the rough and tumble of the Kimberley.  The infamous prison tree, the bombing of Darwin, and the role of the Wandjinas featured in the show with the stories of each artwork displayed alongside (stories are hand written on the back of each artwork as dictated by Jack while he painted them).

Such was Jack's standing as an artist and a narrator of events, that the Australian War Memorial purchased one of the works for their collection.  Other collectors too were quick to add them to their acquisitions.

We have now been requested by Jack's family to place the remaining few works back on sale and have done so in a special exhibition, proceeds from which will go to further assist Jack's family in covering expenses for the funeral.

This is a chance to acquire a special piece of Australian Indigenous and/or Kimberley history from the final body of work by this important and unique artist.

View Jack Dale's artworks at Kate Owen Gallery.

Kurun Warun painting at the gallery

He was invited to Oprah Winfrey's private party, welcomed her to Australia with a smoke ceremony, painting, dance and digeridoo music; he has danced for Bill Clinton's daughter, received a standing ovation from the Saudi Arabian National Guard and performed at the Sydney 2000 Olympic games! 

Now his impressive resume will be complete as he will paint and perform at Kate Owen Gallery this week!!!

Kurun is a renowned artist, digeridoo player and dancer, but most of all he is known for his iconic Aboriginal Artwork.  He will be painting new works in the gallery, is happy to be photographed and you may even be lucky enough to buy an artwork you have seen him paint.  Kids especially will enjoy this experience.


Most of all, Kurun is a warm and friendly guy who is great to talk with - he straddles Australia's cultures with true Indigenous-Aussie spirit, and loves to talk about his art, his culture and his music.  View some of Kurun Warun's Aboriginal Art or read his biography. 

The two paintings below are 'Lee Moo Pareeyt (Dry Water)' and 'Black Boy', both 72 x 200cms.

We are pleased to invite you to join us for a Christmas drink and to watch/meet with Kurun, tomorrow and Saturday (23 & 24 December), from 12 - 5pm for a little break from the silly season whirlwind.  All are welcome.




Warmun Art Centre treasures rise from the dead

Patrick Mung Mung

Warmun artist Patrick Mung Mung with a valuable painting by his father that was salvaged from the town's flooded art centre and restored to its former glory.
Picture: Stuart McEvoy Source: The Australian

AS floodwaters raced through the remote West Australian community of Warmun in March, the manager of the local arts centre thought its collection of historic paintings would be safe.
"We just couldn't imagine the water would go that high," said Maggie Fletcher, manager of Warmun Art Centre in a remote region of the Kimberley.

"There were about 400 (works from Warmun's pioneering artists) in a back room and just about everything got some kind of water damage. Some paintings ended up on the ground in the mud, and they were pretty badly damaged."

Shortly after the floods, the University of Melbourne transported 187 damaged paintings from Warmun to its Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, where they were stabilised.

In Melbourne this week, Patrick Mung Mung said he was happy to see one particular work, painted by his father, restored to its original state.

 ...The untitled painting, by George Mung Mung, is part of the archival collection of works by Warmun's early artists, including Hector Jandany, Queenie McKenzie, Paddy Jaminji and Jack Brittain.

Patrick Mung Mung, himself an artist, said the staff at the centre had done a good job of repairing his father's painting, which had been covered in mould and mud after the floods.

"I think it's all right. They washed all of it off and it's still the same," he said.

The work tells the story of a massacre at Horse Creek, east of Warmun. "In that place a lot of people got killed - they were burned," Mung Mung said.

On Tuesday night, Mung Mung and three other Gija elders arrived in Melbourne to give cultural advice on the restoration of the works.

The elders will also attend a fundraising dinner at the University of Melbourne tonight.

Ms Fletcher said about $100,000 was needed to finish restoring the collection and return it to Warmun.

"(The paintings) were done to show the children. They want them back to keep telling their children because now those old people who did them aren't with us any more," she said. "They're talking about having a big corroboree when the collection comes back to Warmun."

A work by Patrick Mung Mung will also go under the hammer on November 13 at Stills Gallery in Sydney, in an auction held by the Aboriginal Benefits Foundation to raise money for the art centre.

"We are getting a new building put up for the collection, so it's up high and safe," Ms Fletcher said.

"But we need money to fit the building out."

Mung Mung was working as a stockman when his father was painting. He started making his own art in 1998.

When the art centre was inundated, a number of Mung Mung's works were in the main gallery, which was flooded. "None of (Patrick's) works were actually lost and there's been a few that he's been able to repair," Ms Fletcher said. "There was one that I thought was gone but I found it stuck in between a table and a fence. He has fixed it up and it looks terrific."

Article by: Bridget Cormack From: The Australian, October 21, 2011 12:00AM