Artists Cross Country for Freo INUNTJI PUTITJA Exhibition

Currently, travellers are having to deal with flight disruptions all over our expansive country to get where they’re going. So, a big shout out to three artists from Australia’s oldest, continuously running Indigenous art centre from Ernabella in the Pitjantjatjara lands in South Australia who are heading west to attend the official opening of their exhibition in South Fremantle this coming Friday 4 November.

After a five-hour drive from their community and an overnight stay in Alice Springs, artists Elizabeth Dunn, Michelle Lewis and Janice Stanley will board a plane to Perth, via Darwin for INUNTJI PUTITJA | Desert Colours.

Hosted by Artitja Fine Art Gallery, the exhibition at Earlywork opened its doors yesterday Saturday 29 October, with the official opening this coming Friday. .

“It is an incredible show of commitment that the artists’ are travelling more miles to attend the opening of this impressive exhibition than if they were to drive from the community” says Director, Anna Kanaris. “All three are established career artists whose works, both paintings and ceramics, are found in private and public collections around the world”.

Also known as Pukatja, Ernabella is situated at the eastern end of the Musgrave Ranges in the far northwest of South Australia on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara or APY Lands. It is sandy, elevated desert country – much colder than inland desert areas. It is also very beautiful country which bursts into colour after the rains.

Established in 1948, today it comprises a community of artists young and old, where ancient stories and craft techniques intersect with contemporary art practice.

Ernabella art centre also hosts a ceramics studio on site where stoneware vessels are made. Using clay to hand build pots which are fired in the studio, ensures that every level of the process is individually made. Techniques used include Terra sigillata and sgraffito, a scratching technique used to create contrasting textures and patterns.

“We have some very senior artists’ pots included in the exhibition, including a special multi-piece work by Carlene Thompson titled ‘Emu Country’”, says Anna.

In explaining the sculptural creation, Carlene, a mother of six, says “…it is typical for the emu (kalaya) to have many children. Like I did with my children, I now raise chicks every day on canvas and in clay in my work”.

The exhibition’s official opening is on 4 November by Chair of the Art Gallery of Western Australia Janet Holmes à Court, with a Welcome to Country by Whadjuk Noongar Sandra Harben.

RSVP to the opening is essential.

The artists will be in the gallery for a meet and greet on Saturday 5 November at 2pm.


INUNTJI PUTITJA | Desert colours is free to the public. Opens Saturday 29 October 2022 with the official opening being Friday 4 November 6-8pm.

Opening hours are Wednesday—Sunday, 10am— 4pm.

Open until 20 November.

Exhibiting at Earlywork, 330 South Terrace, South Fremantle.

The selling exhibition will also be available online.


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