Born: Adelaide, SA
Language Group: Ngarrindjeri
Community: Darwin, NT
Johanna Wunbirri Gregory is a proud Ngarrindjeri woman living on Larrakia land (Darwin, NT). She was born in Adelaide, South Australia and whilst always creative, it wasn't until Johanna discovered and connected to her Aboriginal heritage that she really embraced her art. Through painting, she has found the perfect channel to connect and process her growing understanding of culture, community, family, and identity.
Johanna is a former student of the Stars Foundation for Indigenous Girls. It was a significant moment for Johanna to reconnect to her culture, and she found the program instrumental in becoming the proud Indigenous woman she is today.
Wanting to immerse, reconnect and learn more about her Indigenous heritage, Johanna made the move to Darwin. Her partner is a Wadjigan man and son of celebrated artist Regina Bamagaya McCarthy, who is an active member of the Bulgul Artists.
The Bulgul Artists are an informal collective of family and friends from the Bulgul Community and surrounding regions in the Top End. Johanna's Aboriginal name 'Wunbirri' was given to her by Nanna Rose and Marge on her partners side. It has instilled in Johanna a vigor to produce art that will make her family proud.
Learning about a variety of different art styles from both South Australia and Northern Territory has helped Johanna refine her artistic practice and produce highly resolved and sophisticated works. Shimmering colours, precise dot work, and a willingness to expand her artistic vocabulary make her an exciting emerging talent.
Her creative expression also expands to jewelry and graphic design. Recently, she commissioned a piece for the Australian Lotto and designed the AFL jersey for her local club, the Darwin Buffaloes.
It is clear Johanna has a wellspring of inspiration, and we look forward to her developing her obvious talent and establishing herself as a luminous voice in the contemporary Aboriginal art scene.
Copyright Kate Owen Gallery, May 2023