We are proud to work with some incredibly talented artists from across remote Australia. Hailing from the Tiwi Islands in the Arafura Sea to coastal Arnhem Land
to the Central Desert, the artists in our collections represent the diversity
and uniqueness of contemporary Indigenous art practice.
Ampilatwatja community is approximately 300 kilometres northeast of Alice Springs in Central Australia (Northern Territory). It is home to the Alyawarr people, whose language is also Alyawarr. The area has a long and chequered pastoral history, and the Alyawarr people use their distinctive art to express their connection to, and traditional knowledge of, their ancestral lands.
COLLEEN NGWARRAYE MORTON
Colleen Ngwarraye Morton was born in 1957 into the Ngwarraye skin group. She paints Arreth, which translates to ‘strong bush medicine’, paying homage to the significance of traditional bush medicine. Morton often depicts her grandfather’s country, where she her mother and grandmother taught her the importance of seasonal medicines and plants. She was part of the batik movement that emerged in Utopia, Central Australia, in the 1980s. Recent exhibitions include the Florence Biennale, Italy (2015), Redot Gallery, Singapore (2012) and Batiks of the Desert, National Gallery of Victoria (2008). Colleen’s design for our Ampilatwatja Collection is called Singing Bush Medicine.
ROSIE NGWARRAYE ROSS
Rosie Ngwarraye Ross was born in 1951 near Amaroo Station, NT. Her skin group is Ngwarraye.
In her paintings Ross depicts the bush medicine plants and wild flowers from around her country.
She has a bold expressive style and often omits the sky from her compositions, combining both aerial and frontal views. Ross has exhibited widely, including as part of Fragrant Lands: Exhibition of Australian and Chinese Indigenous Art, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute – touring to Shanghai, China (2014), at Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne (2014) and at Booker-Lowe Gallery, Texas, USA (2015). Rosie’s design for our Ampilatwatja Collection is called Sugarbag Dreaming.
Maningrida and its surrounds, in Central Arnhem Land (Northern Territory), is home to more than 100 clans and 12 language groups. The region has a significant place in Indigenous art history, with the work of many local artists housed in national and international collections.
Elizabeth Kandabuma was born near Bulgay on Yirritjinga country. She depicted the natural world in a distinctive, lyrical and painterly style. Kandabuma worked with Bábbarra Designs, an art centre in Maningrida, since the early 1990s, and exhibited across Australia, including at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide, the Australian National University, Canberra and in multiple Darwin Aboriginal Art Fairs. Elizabeth’s design for our Bábbarra Collection is called Mud Ripples.
Susan Marawarr was born in 1967 and is a Kuninjku speaker. She is an accomplished printmaker, sculptor, weaver and bark painter, known for her striking black and white palette. Marawarr is the sister of acclaimed bark painters James Iyuna and John Mawurndjul. She has exhibited widely, including as part of White Ochre, FORM, Perth (2017), The Dreaming Changes Shape, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne (2011) and in a solo exhibition at Suzanne O’Connell Gallery, Brisbane (2018). Her work is held in the collections of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Museum of Contemporary Art and National Gallery of Australia, among others. Susan’s design for our Bábbarra Collection is called Wak Wak.
Just north of Darwin (Northern Territory) lie the Tiwi Islands.
The Islands are made up of Bathurst and Melville Islands (and a number of smaller uninhabited islands) and are surrounded by the azure waters of the Arafura Sea. The Tiwi people are culturally and linguistically distinct from their near neighbours in Arnhem Land, and this is also true of their artistic traditions.
JEAN BAPTISTE APUATIMI
Jean Baptiste Apuatimi (1940-2013) is internationally acclaimed as a painter, carver and printmaker. She was born at Pirlangimpi, Melville Island, NT, into the Japijapunga (March Fly) skin group. In 1991 she participated in her first exhibition; the next year the National Gallery of Victoria acquired eight of her bark paintings. Apuatimi exhibited widely and earned significant recognition as both an artist and a custodian of Tiwi culture. Her work is held in public and private collections around the world, including the British Museum (UK), the Seattle Museum of Art (USA) and the National Museum of Women in the Arts (USA). Apuatimi's design for our Tiwi Collection is called Jilamara.
Osmond Kantilla (b.1966) is a master screen printer. His country is Wurruranku and his skin group is Marntimapila (Stone). Kantilla has been selected for group exhibitions across Australia and internationally. His work is held in numerous public collections, including the National Museum of Australia, the Powerhouse Museum and the Art Gallery of South Australia. Kantilla's design for our Tiwi Collection is called Pandanus.