Curated by Flinders University Museum of Art (FUMA) and now on display at the Bay Discovery Centre, Brave new wave: desert women painters showcases the remarkable impact of Aboriginal women artists working in the Central and Western Desert regions.
Brave new wave celebrates the indelible contribution of these women in the field of contemporary Aboriginal art, producing bold, vibrant and innovative depictions of their ancestral stories and culture.
FUMA Director Fiona Salmon says the works selected highlight the female artists’ expression of First Nation people’s cultural knowledge, experience and identity across generations – reflecting the diverse, creative and innovative female voices of this period.
“Flinders University acquired its first work of art by an Aboriginal woman in 1980 – a small board painted in acrylic by Rosie Riley Nakamarra entitled Woman Dreaming of young man,” she says.
“Created in the mid-late 1970s, this is one of the earliest known acrylic paintings produced by a woman at this time; Nakamarra’s work is historically significant as a pioneering voice in contemporary Aboriginal art, which would ultimately take the art world by storm.”
With Nakamarra’s painting as its starting point, Brave new wave presents visionary works by some of Australia’s most iconic Central and Western Desert women who rose to prominence in the late twentieth century.
“Bringing gendered expressions of Indigenous Australian identity and cultural knowledge to mainstream attention for the first time, the paintings in the exhibition feature bold use of colours and adventurous and unexpected visions of the artists’ ancestral stories.
“Collectively, they signalled a new millennium for the contemporary Aboriginal art and forged a path for new generations of female artists to come.”
Exhibition dates: 15 November 2019 – 2 February 2020
Exhibition location: Bay Discovery Centre, Glenelg Town Hall, Moseley Square
Brave new wave is presented as part of the Tarnanthi Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art which runs until 27 January 2020.
Yaritji Connelly, Dolly Nampijinpa Daniels, Pulpurru Davies, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Audrey Morton Kngwarreye, Lucky Morton Kngwarreye, Molly Nampitjin Miller, Annie Purvis Mpetyane, Rosie Riley Nakamarra, Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa, Susie Bootja Bootja Napaltjarri, Kutungka Napanangka, Makinti Napanangka, Kumuntjai M Napurrula, Yulurlu Lorna Fencer Napurrurla, Naata Nungurrayi, Elizabeth Nyumi, Mary Katatjuku Pan, Ada Bird Petyarre, and Judy Napangardi Watson