Artists

Karen predominantly paints using black and white very detailed combination which is distinctly different from other women in IIkawerene country.

Karen Bird is the youngest daughter of Lindsay Mpetyane, a prominant Utopian artist.

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Marie Ryder Grew up in Santa Teresa, 80 kilometers south- east of Alice Springs.

She paints a variety of bush foods in great detail and realistic colours. Marie also knows where to locate and collect the foods she is depicting in her paintings.

She is a daughter of Theresa Ryder., a well accomplished and highly sought after artist.

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Maggie lives in a remote desert community and was brought up with the traditional education and values of the country.

Ceremonies relating to initiation, seasonal changes and general women's business form a very important part of Aboriginal society.

Maggie's paintings tell the story of these ceremonies.

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Paddy has been painting for over 30 years. He started painting when the women from Utopia started up the Batik, around early 1980's.

He paints Mulga Seed Dreaming. He is a very busy man his time is taken up mostly with his tribal obligations. Which include ceremonies and hunting.

He worked as a stockman in his younger days on what was then Utopia Station.

He is married to Eileen Bird who is Ada Bird's daughter and Eileen  is also an artist. One of their daughters, Maggie Bird is a well known artist in her own right.

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Faith has recently lived her entire life in the bush around Kintore. Her husband Ivan Butler is now on dialysis machine for kidney problems. She now lives in Alice Springs, which has allowed Faith to start painting.

Her paintings represent her country where as a young girl her family would travel between Tjukurla and Lake Mackay looking for good hunting and bush tucker as the season changed.

She paints her sand hill country and where women are gathered preparing bush tucker.

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Coleen paints the Dreaming of Wild Bush Yam, Bush Plum, Black Plum, and Awelye (Women's Ceremony) which are Ceremonial Body Paint Designs significant to the Ceremonies and Rituals that are the basis of everyday life for the women of the community.

She is self taught artist and has been painting for the past 20 years.

Colleen lives at Akaye Soakage with her husband Colin Bird and four children. Colleen went to school in Alice Springs.

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Peter NABARLAMBARL was born in his home country on the upper Mann River of the Arnhemland Plateau. As a very young boy he stayed in this area and not leaving until he had grown into a young man. When he was a young man he left his home country and went to live at Maranboy where he obtained work as a stockman, working cattle.

This work took him as far away as Alice Springs and Mt. Isa on droving runs. He did this work for many years. Peter met and married a woman from Maranboy and together they had 3 boys and 2 girls. He moved with his family back to Gurrgurr where he lived for a number of years before his wife passed away. After this Peter met a girl from Momega and married her.

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Born 1959 at Oodnadatta in South Australia, Marlene is a Luritja speaker who lives with her husband and six children in Alice Springs. She has worked with the original Jukurrpa group tutoring the older women in the art of batik. Marlene is a self-taught artist, she began painting on canvas in 1987 then progressed to batik and screen printing. Her work has proven to be very popular both in Australia and overseas.

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Janet is married to Ronnie Bird and they have 3 children. Janet has been painting for approximately ten years, her paintings represent body-paint design (Awelye), Yam Leaf and Bush Medicine.

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Enland Bangala was born and raised at raised at Gocham Jiny-jirra on the Cadell River in central Arnhemland. As a young boy he attended the mission school at Millingimbi, an island just off the North coast of Australia. As he grew older he worked as a farmer and a carpenter at his homeland, then later travelled west to work as a buffalo shooter in the area of Oenpelli. Peter was married and fathered 4 boys and 3 girls. Two of the girls however have passed away.

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Ceremonies relating to initiation, seasonal changes and general women's business for is very important part of Aboriginal Society. Cindy's paintings tell the story of these ceremonies. The body paint designs are learnt whilst applying paint to the chest, breasts and shoulders of women about to take part in Ceremony. These images relate to Awelye (Dreaming) and are significant to the ceremonies and rituals that are the basis of Aboriginal culture.

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Barbara's mother was Minnie Pwerle, another Aboriginal artist and her father was Irish. She was 'hidden' from the age of two at Utopia where she was 'grown up' by her aunty Emily Kngwarreye. At the age of 9 years, whilst collecting water, Barbara was taken by Native Welfare and her family believed she had been killed. She was fostered out to various families, first in Alice Springs, then in Victoria, and Darwin. During these years she lost contact with her family but never forgot and was determined to return and re-claim her heritage.

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Wesley Nganjmirra is the son of Peter NGANJMIRRA, a brother of Bobby Barrdjaray NGANJMIRRA, a most famous Aboriginal painter of the region. Wesley was born in Darwin but spent most of his early childhood years living in Oenpelli, with occasional periods at his fathers outstation Mandlebareng.

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Ronnie paints bold traditional designs in the same style as his close relative Lindsay Bird Mpetyane. He is the son of Ada Bird Petyarre who passed away in 2010. Ronnie's paintings represent Men's ceremonies and Men's secret sacred sites. Ronnie spends his time either in Alice Springs with his family or out in the bush hunting and fulfilling his tribal obligations on his country of 'Akaye Soakage', Utopia.

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Mick Kubarrku was born in the escarpment country of Arnhemland at the place called Kukabarnka, which is close to the Liverpool River. During his early years of growing up he would with the rest of his family travel widely across much of the surrounding country. Mainly between that owned by his father and that of his mother. Sometimes he would travel much further to the east and then return to his home country at Yikarrakkal on the Mann River.

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Lindsay is an important Aboriginal leader in Utopia 300 kilometers north-east of Alice Springs. He lives at Mulga Bore Station with his wife Mavis and three daughters. He started painting since the late eighties and has become one of more significant Aboriginal artists collected internationally. His dreamings include Mulga Tree, Bloodwood trees, Bush Plum, Men's Ceremony, Yam Dreaming, Snake Dreaming and others.

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James IYUNA is the son of Anchor KULUMBA a man not renowned for painting but for the construction of conical fish traps. James was born in Maningrida where he also attended school. James IYUNA now lives at the outstation of Momega, which is on the Mann River not far from the Arnhemland Escarpment. As a young man James was taught by his father all the cultural matters pertaining to his clan.

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Bruce Nabegeyo, as a young man lived mainly at GABARI in his home country, or in the vicinity of Oenpelli on the edge of the Arnhemland Aboriginal Reserve as it then was. He was educated to about 15 years of age at the Oenpelli Mission School. Bruce Nabegeyo was married to his third wife, the second having passed away in 1989. He had two sons to his first wife and no children to the second or third.

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Born in Utopia, Anna Petyarre commenced painting in the early 1980's when the medium of canvas and acrylic paints were introduced to the community of Utopia. Prior to painting she produced batik. Her main Dreamings, which she depicts in her paintings are: Yam, Wild Potato, Wildflowers, Emu and Campsite.At first Anna Petyarre used very bright colours with minimal dotting; her recent works display a technique of intricate dot work, with small blocks of colour.

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Djwaida NADJONGORLE was born in the bush of Arnhemland. As a young man he moved to Oenpelli where he attended the Mission School of the day. Schooling was minimal. On Leaving school Djwaida worked on the Oenpelli cattle station as a stockman for some years. Upon finishing work as a stockman he moved to an outstation on the Gumadeer River where he was taught to paint by his father.

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