Kukula McDonald art at NGA and at KOG

Good, Strong, Powerful!  National Gallery of Australia is showing works by Kukula  and others from Mwerre Anthurre artists in this show which runs until 15 January 2010.  Check out these fascinating naive artworks by indigenous artists across Australia - all with some form of disability.  You might like to check out the NGA's downloadable fact sheet too.

At Kate Owen Gallery, we have a number of Kukula's artworks in stock... and being very impressed by her works and those of fellow artists Adrian Robertson and Billy Kenda, we featured an exhibition of works from her art centre earlier this year.  Kukula McDonald's works are presently focused on the wild black cockatoos of the Australian bush, and she captures the character and spirit of these unique birds perfectly  (not an easy task, as many an artist who has attempted it can tell you!) 

Kukula spends her life in a wheelchair and the first focus of her artwork was just that - Wheelchairs!  She painted them relentlessly and it is said that she knows every make and model of every wheelchair owned by an aboriginal person throughout the country!

Now her focus is on the black cockatoos and their environment.  A poignant subject as well, given that birds in artworks often represent a subconscious yearning for freedom.  Her works are a unique and delightful representation of these cheeky outback characters by a gifted and plucky artist.  

Tjanpi Desert Weavers

Despite occurring some time ago we here at Kate Owen Gallery are still very, very impressed with this effort by the Tjanpi Desert Weavers: in 2005 20 women spent 3 weeks to create a weaved model of a Toyota.  Measuring in at 4 x 2 m the work was entirely created out of raffia, grass, jute string, chicken wire and steel!  The work went on to claim first prize at the prestigious Telstra Art Award (for 2005).  With judges Doug Hall (Director of the Queensland Art Gallery) and visual artist Destiny Deacon remarking that “Tjanpi Grass Toyota…is a wonderfully witty, well-crafted and relevant work.  In one sense it takes us to the heart of community life and its tradition of weaving from grass that belongs to the women’s country.  On the other hand, this work not only recognises but also celebrates the four-wheel drive as central to desert living for Aboriginal people.”

Tjanpi Toyota, 2005, photo by Thisbe Purich ©Tjanpi Desert Weavers

While we (unfortunately!) do not stock any works by the weavers quite this large we do have a large range of works, of varying sizes.  Including goannas, lizards & snakes through to an assortment of bowls and small figures!  As per usual all works available in the gallery are listed on our website so feel free to check them out!

The Canning Stock Route Exhibition

At the National Museum of Australia, Canberra, it's extraordinary - visit http://www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions/yiwarra_kuju/ to see and read about it.  A most professionally presented range of work including many of the artists we sell, and many others we hope to stock in the near future.  If you have a chance to visit this show, make sure you do.  Not only for the stunning artworks but for all the supporting information about the project, the artists, the indigenous way of life, the meanings of the artworks and more....

If you can't get to see the exhibition, visit the Museum website - there's plenty to read and see. It's all interesting. 

photograph from National Museum of Australia website; Photo by Tim Acker.

'It used to be blackfella Country before they built the wells. Today it's a kartiya highway. Before it used to be Aboriginal people's land, our Jukurrpa (Dreaming), waterholes, jumu (soakwaters) and jila (springs). Blackfellas used to walk around — foot-walk — not with a camel. When they saw camels and horses they'd get frightened and run away. Martu people got shot in that Country, and at Kulyayi (Well 42) Wangkajunga people got killed.
Canning made a mess of the wells and Dreaming tracks and sacred sites and law sites. He used blackfellas to get where he wanted to go, to make his mark. So it's about kartiya coming and making that line of wells.
But in another way, all those wells opened up our Country for people to travel back to Country with their kids. Because if you didn't do that the Country would be lost. Now it's easier to get to Country. We've got our own story there, two ways.
We're all family. All the stories are about how all the families got scattered across the Western Desert. And at the nine art centres, we're all related. From Wiluna and Kiwirrkurra and Balgo, Mulan, and Martu Country. From Nyarna (Lake Stretch) right down to Wiluna. Our ancestors walked that land. The Canning Stock Route forced all the people to all different places. ' 

excerpt from Aust National Museum website.

Charity Art Auction at Bond University, Queensland

Bond University is holding an Inaugural Art Auction and has invited Kate Owen Gallery to participate! The event should see approximately forty works up for grabs - alongside holiday packages, travel products, accomodation & flights - of which Kate Owen Gallery will have twelve works present at the auction.

Australian universities are increasingly playing a leadership role in the nation's recognition of and support for Indigenous Australian people and cultures. Bond University offers one Indigenous scholarship in the Faculty of Law and three scholarships in the School of Hotel, Resort & Tourism Management (HRTM). In January of this year Bond students established the Bond Indigenous Awareness Society, with the aim of promoting Indigenous Australia culture to the University and its wider community. It is with this great effort in mind that Kate Owen Gallery is very pleased to have been asked to participate in such a great cause.

The auction is set to commence at 6:30pm on Saturday, 9th October.

Wangi by Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty - one of the works Kate Owen Gallery will be taking to Bond University