from little things, big things grow - the art & artists of papunya

   artists of papunya  

Left: Ronnie Tjampitjinpa painting Tingari-Fire Dreaming Middle: Clifford Possum painting Night Sky Story Right: Johnny Warangkula Tjupurula

The exhibition title from little things big things grow comes from the song of the same name by Australian artists Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody. Written in the 1980’s, it tells the inspiring story of the Gurindji people's struggle for equality and land rights after their 'walk off' at the Wave Hill property in 1966.  It is a story of hope and optimism. So too is the story of Papunya.

Little did we know back in 1971 - when a young school teacher encouraged the men of Papunya to paint using traditional Aboriginal iconography from the Western Desert – that we were about to witness the birth of the Aboriginal Art Movement.  From humble beginnings, the artists of Papunya are now known as the founders and ‘Masters’ of the Aboriginal Art Movement. In the years since, the artists of Papunya have made a profound contribution to the movement and international contemporary art.

This exhibition showcases the art of the great Papunya masters and the artists who got their start in this humble settlement. Their vibrant and innovative works give enduring expression to their powerful Tjukurrpa (Dreamings) and simply reverberate with a pulsating energy in our third level collectors’ gallery.

Many of the pieces on display are museum quality works, but unlike similar works in public galleries, these are available for purchase.

We do hope you can visit the gallery in August and experience this superb exhibition.

Can’t visit the gallery? Don’t  worry, you can view the online exhibition here.

Trevor ‘turbo’ Brown Exhibition Opens This Weekend

As I step into the charcoal gallery I feel as if I have been transported to the dreamtime; a time and place where all animals live in unspoiled harmony.  Turbo’s engaging pictorial style and irresistibly quirky critters have an unabashed loveliness to them.

His Tasmanian Tiger appears to be smiling right at you


While the Sixteen Pink Galahs are happy chatting amongst themselves, basking in the afternoon sun


Turbo’s work may seem naive in the simplicity of form, but there is an incredible energy in the dynamic composition, colour and line.


Using bright colours and bold outline, he usually works on a large scale and paints quickly using unmixed acrylic paint. His Engaging pictorial style and distinctive creatures from the dreamtime makes his works pulsate with an irresistible and syncopated beat.

Here, Turbo depicts two wombats – one above ground and the second appears to be nestled safely in their borrow, almost as if viewed from an aerial perspective.  It is this innovative and bold style that has seen Turbo achieve substantial recognition in just a few short years, as well as carve out a significant exhibition history. 

This will be a very fun opening weekend - the exhibition is a burst of colour and life; a celebration of Turbo and of Koorie culture and spirit. I encourage you all to visit the gallery this weekend and spend some time in Turbo’s Dreamtime.

To view all of Turbo’s artwork click here.

To read his incredible Biography, click here.

Vast Interiors

a fusion of contemporary interior design and aboriginal art

21 February - 9 March 2014


Do you look at shots like these and wonder how can I get that look in my place?

We've noticed a lot of our clients have specific interior needs, so we have fused the art of interior design and Aboriginal art in this exciting exhibition!

Four renowned interior designers will transform Kate Owen Gallery and we will have a fine dining, living, bedroom & staircase installation showcasing some fantastic design pieces and, of course, some sensational Aboriginal art!

Visit the gallery to chat with the designers and our art consultants about your specific interior needs & book a free consultation for your home or office.

We will have an opening expo this Saturday with drinks & canapes so come by with a group of friends and be inspired!

opening expo
Saturday 22 February 
11 - 4

click here to find out more about this exhibition


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!