Walangkura Napanangka

Walangkura Napanangka

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DOB: c.1946 -2014
Born: Tjitururrnga (West of Kintore), N.T.
LANGUAGE: Pintupi
COMMUNITY: Kintore

As one of the last generation to remember a childhood lived in the desert hunting and gathering with her family, Walangkura Napanangka's paintings recall the stories of country and the location of specific sites in her traditional homeland west of the salt lake of Karrkurutinjinya (Lake Macdonald).

Born around 1946, at Tjitururrnga west of Kintore, in the remote and arid country between the Northern Territory and Western Australia, she lived with her father Rantji Tjapangati and mother Inyuwa Nampitjinpa and later, while still a teenager, travelled by foot with her family over the hundreds of kilometres from their remote desert home eventually joining Uta Uta Tjangala's group as they walked in to the settlements of Haasts Bluff and then Papunya.

The lure of settlement life with its promise of plentiful food and water belied the harsh conversion they would make to an alien lifestyle with its many problems and unfamiliar demands. The upheaval however, was ameliorated to some degree by the proximity of her immediate family including her mother Inyuwa, adoptive father Tutuma Tjapangati, and sister Pirrmangka Napanangka (now deceased) all of whom became artists.

Relocated to the community of Kintore in 1981 when the outstation movement began, Walangkura participated in the historic women's collaborative painting project (1994) that was initiated by the older women as a means of re-affirming their own spiritual and ancestral roots. It was a time of specifically female singing, ceremony and painting, away from the gaze of outsiders and men folk. The huge and colourful canvases that emerged from the women's camp were 'alive with the ritual excitement and narrative intensity of the occasion' (Johnson 2000: 197).
Within a year, Papunya Tula Artists, now established at Kintore, had taken on many of these women as full-time artists, revitalising the company after the deaths of many of the original 'painting men'. While individual women forged their own stylistic trajectory, these paintings were immediately distinguishable from the men's more cerebral and symmetrical style. They radiated an exuberant and vibrant energy, the felt heart-beat of women's affinity to country and spirit.

Walangkura's early works, created from 1996 onward, are characterized by masses of small markings and motifs covering large areas of canvas. Her favorite colour, a deep sandy orange predominates, accentuated against more somber blacks and reds and dusky greens or yellows. More recent works show a gestural quality though still tightly packed with an intensity of geometric line work representing sandhills. In a sense this provides a strong visual and contextual link to the men's linear style as exemplified by the works of George Tjungurrayi, Turkey Tolson and Willy Tjungurrayi. They are rich with a sense of rhythm and unimpeded movement: they show sandhills, rockholes, journeys and gatherings of ancestral women, the flow of colours in subtle shifts of light. Many of these are monumental works that transmit the confidence of an assured and dynamic creativity. Walangkura transmits the power of the desert, soaked up during her childhood years, and imbues her works with the mystery of a sacred perception.

Walangkura became one of Papunya Tula's most senior women artists. After the death of her mother Inyuwa and the tragic death of her half sister Pirrmangka in 2001, she moved for a time to Kiwirrkura, where she lived with her husband and fellow artist Johnny Yungut Tjupurrula and their six children. Her first solo exhibition was held at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi in 2003, and this was followed by another at Utopia Art Sydney in 2004. As her fame spread from this time onward she began painting increasingly for a number of private independent dealers outside of the Papunya Tula company. As a result her works can be seen in a great many galleries and retail shops throughout the country.

Walangkura Napanangka was a formidable artist capable of creating masterpieces on canvases up to three metres in size and many of these, have become emblematic examples of Pintupi women's art, who, according to the opinion of Reg Richardson: is 'an artist of stellar quality, destined for the big time. She may already be there.'






Collections

  • Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
  • Artbank, Sydney
  • The Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, USA
  • Aboriginal Art Museum, The Netherlands
  • Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
  • Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
  • Owen Wagner Collection of Australian Art at the Hood Museum of Art, Charlottesville, VA, USA
  • Hank Ebes Collection, Melbourne
  • The Luczo Family Collection, USA
  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • Union Bank of Switzerland
  • Corrigan Collection, Sydney

Awards and Recognition

2011 Freemantle Arts Centre Print Award 2011, Freemantle, WA
2007 Top 50 Collectable Artists, Australian Art Collector Magazine
2007 24th NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist
2006 34th Alice Art Prize, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs - Finalist
2006 The Desert Mob Art Show, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs - Finalist
2005 22nd NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist
2004 21st NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist
2001 The Desert Mob, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs - Finalist
2001 31st Alice Prize, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs - Finalist
1999 16th NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist
1998 The Desert Mob, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs - Finalist
1998 15th NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist
1997 14th NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist
1997 The Desert Mob, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs - Finalist



History


Selected Solo Exhibitions:

2004 Walangkura Napanangka, Utopia Art, Sydney
2003 Recent Paintings, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne

Selected Group Exhibitions :

2020 Pintupi Masters - Enduring Dreamings, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 Reverence, D'Lan Davidson, Sydney
2019 Pintupi Artists of the Western Desert, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2019 Defining Tradition: the first wave & its disciples, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 Pintupi Artists of the Western Desert, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2016 Landstract Abscape, Utopia Art, Sydney
2012 Unique Perspectives: Papunya Tula Artists and the Alice Springs Community, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
2011 Papunya Tula Women's Art, Maitland Regional Art Gallery, NSW
2011 40 years of Papunya Tula Artists, Utopia Art, Sydney
2011 Up Close and Personal: works from the collection of Dr Peter Elliott AM, S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
2010 PTA NOW, Utopia Art, Sydney
2009 5th Annual Shalom Gamarada Aboriginal Art Exhibition, Shalom College, University of NSW, Sydney
2009 Nganana Tjungurrayi Tjukurrpa Nintintjakitja: We are Here Sharing our Dreaming, East Galleries, New York
2008 Ngurra Yurru Kulintjaku - Always Remembering Country, Cross Cultural Art Exchange, Darwin
2008 Papunya Tula Artists 2008, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2008 Virtuosity: The Evolution of Painting at Papunya Tula, The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of
the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
2008 Indigenart, Perth, WA
2008 Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin
2008 New Paintings by Papunya Tula Artists, Chapman Gallery, Canberra
2008 Red Desert Gallery, Eumundi, QLD
2007 Papunya Tula, Short Street Gallery, Broome, WA
2007 Papunya Tula 2007, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2007 Papunya Tula Women, Suzanne O'Connell Gallery, Brisbane
2007 Recent Paintings 2007, Cross Cultural Art Exchange, Darwin
2007 Pintupi - Mixed Exhibition, Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs
2007 Turning 20, Utopia Art, Sydney
2006 Paintings by Papunya Tula Artists, Suzanne O'Connell Gallery, Brisbane
2006 A Particular Collection, Utopia Art, Sydney
2006 Melbourne Art Fair 2006, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
2006 Pintupi, Hamiltons Gallery, London
2006 PTA, Utopia Art, Sydney
2006 Right Here, Right Now: Recent Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Acquisitions, National Gallery of
Australia, Canberra
2006 Land Marks, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
2006 Papunya Tula Artists 2006, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2006 Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane
2006 Group Show, John Gordon Gallery, Coffs Harbour, NSW
2006 Yawulyurru kapalilu palyara nintilpayi, Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs
2006 Across The Board, Utopia Art, Sydney
2006 Luminous - Contemporary Art From the Australian Desert, Bathurst Regional Gallery, NSW
2006 Papunya Tula Artists 2006, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2006 Luminous - Contemporary Art From the Australian Desert, Manning Regional Art Gallery, NSW
2006 Aboriginal Art 2006, Scott Livesey Galleries, Melbourne
2006 Papunya Tula Artists - Recent Paintings, Harriet Place, Darwin
2006 Luminous - Contemporary Art From the Australian Desert, Grafton Regional Gallery, NSW
2006 Pintupi Art 2006, Tony Bond Aboriginal Art Dealer, Adelaide
2006 Pintupi Dreamtime, ReDot Gallery, Singapore
2006 Well Represented, Utopia Art, Sydney
2005 Across Skin - Women Artists of the Western Desert, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2005 Pintupi Show, Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs
2005 Papunya Tula Artists - new work for a new space, Utopia Art, Sydney
2005 Museum II, Utopia Art, Sydney
2005 Papunya Tula Artists, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2005 Aboriginal Art 2005, Scott Livesey Art Dealer, Melbourne
2005 Pintupi Art 2005, Tony Bond Aboriginal Art Dealer, Adelaide
2005 New Works From The Western Desert, Indigenart, Perth, WA
2005 Strongly and Stately, ReDot Gallery, Singapore
2004 Walankura Napanangka, Utopia Art Society
2004 The Inner And The Outer, Chapman Gallery, Canberra
2004 Pintupi Art 2004, Tony Bond Aboriginal Art Dealer, Adelaide
2004 Papunya Tula Artists 2004, Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2004 Melbourne Art Fair 2004, Melbourne
2004 Depth of Field - Anamorphosis', artists explore 'Absolute Matte' a new paint from Chroma Australia, Utopia Art, Sydney
2004 All About Papunya, Chapman Gallery, Canberra
2004 The Inner And The Outer, Stadtgalerie Bamberg, Villa Dessauer, Bamberg, Germany
2004 Ma Yungu/Pass It On, Framed Gallery, Darwin
2004 Pintupi Artists, Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs
2004 Mythology & Reality, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne
2003 Recent Paintings By The Women Artists Of Kintore And Kiwirrkura, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2003 Mythology and Reality, S.H Ervin Gallery, Sydney
2003 Aboriginal Art 2003, Scott Livesey Art Dealer, Melbourne
2003 Pintupi Art 2003, Tony Bond Aboriginal Art Dealer, Adelaide
2003 Pintupi Art From The Western Desert, Indigenart, Perth
2003 Masterpieces From The Western Desert, Gavin Graham Gallery, London
2003 Papunya Tula Artists - A Gift from the Desert, Utopia Art, Sydney
2002 Paintings From Our Country, Tony Bond Aboriginal Art Dealer, Adelaide
2002 Aboriginal Art 2002, Scott Livesey Art Dealer, Melbourne, VIC
2002 William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
2002 Pintupi Mens' and Womens' Stories, Indigenart, Perth
2002 Art Born Of The Western Desert, Framed Gallery, Darwin
2002 Saluting Papunya, Chapman Gallery, Canberra
2002 Pintupi Artists, Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs
2002 Melbourne Art Fair 2002, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
2001 Size Doesn't Matter- Papunya Tula Painting 1997-2001, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
2001 Dreamscapes - Contemporary Desert Art, Mostings Hus, Frederiksberg, Denmark
2001 Art of the Pintupi, Tony Bond Art Dealer, Adelaide
2001 Six Painters from Papunya Tula Artists, Utopia Art, Sydney
2001 Papunya Tula 30th Anniversary Exhibition, Chapman Gallery, Canberra
2001 Pintupi Exhibition, Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs
2001 Kintore and Kiwiikura, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2001 Museum, Utopia Art, Sydney
2001 Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
2000 Pintupi, Alice Springs
2000 Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2000 Aboriginal Art, Aboriginal Art Galerie Bahr, Speyer, Germany
2000 Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2000 Framed Gallery, Darwin
2000 Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
2000 Pintupi Women, Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs
1999 Utopia Art, Sydney
1999 New Horizons, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
1999 Flinders Art Museum, Flinders University, Adelaide
1998 The Desert Mob Art Show, Araluen Art Center, Alice Springs
1998 Sztuka Aborygenow (Art of the Aborigines), Warsaw, Poland
1997 - 2002 Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
1997 Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
1997 Chapman Gallery, Manuka, Canberra
1996 Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs
1996 Museums & Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin
1996 Utopia Art, Sydney, NSW
1996 Art Foundation, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs