Monica Puntjina Watson
C.1940 PUKARA ROCK HOLE (CLOSE TO IRRUNYTJU), WESTERN AUSTRALIA
A Pipalytjara elder, Monica Putjina Watson was born in or around 1940 at the rockhole Pukara in Western Australia. She left her birthplace with her family as a young girl and worked for a time in the crafts room at Ernabella Arts in Pukatja, South Australia. It was not until the homelands movement of the late 1970s, that the artist moved to Pipalyatjara with her husband and children. She is now a senior painter at Ninuku Arts.
B 1951 ERNABELLA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Nyanu Watson grew up at Pukatja (Ernabella) in north-west South Australia, and witnessed the changes brought about when the missionaries arrived in 1937. In the early 1970s, Watson left the mission for Kalka during the Homelands movement, when the peoples from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in South Australia’s north-west border region returned to their country.
Kunmana (Samuel) Miller
1966 ERNABELLA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Kunmana (Samuel) Miller was born at Ernabella mission in north-west South Australia. When his mother passed away, his father’s second wife and accomplished artist Molly Nampitjin Miller looked after him, influencing his art practice.
B. C. 1939 KALPIRTI, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Margaret Baragurra was born in Kalpirti in the Great Sandy Desert of Western Australia. Her upbringing was spent travelling across the desert region, from waterholes to seasonal wetlands.
Mary Meribida, the daughter of Rover Thomas’s sister Kupi, was born in Ilyara (Punmu) in Western Australia. The artist’s childhood was spent in the surrounding country, living a nomadic life with her family: “We been walk ‘em, no clothes, nothing. We proper bush people, no English,” she says of her upbringing.
Things changed in the 1970s when severe drought brought her people, the Yulparija people, out of the desert in search of water.
Derek O’Connor was born in England in 1959 and migrated to Australia in 1969. After living in Adelaide, he moved to Canberra to study painting the ANU and has exhibited in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra since 1991.
Derek is primarily an abstract painter whose work is informed by material, method and intuition. His painting are layered, scraped and reworked until they reach completion, the subject often revealing themselves. His work is imbued with fluidity and energy, and an emotive quality that comes from the physicality of his painting technique.
Septuagenarian Jimmy Donegan first saw the ocean in 2010 when travelling to Darwin for the 27th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Art Awards. He returned to the small community of Kalka in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands having won the coveted Telstra art award as well as the general painting category award, the first artist to win both at the same time.
Canberra-based contemporary artist Ham Darroch works in sculpture, performance and drawing. He artistic practice draws on recognisable objects of both everyday life and of art history to create abstract works that appear familiar through the careful referencing of shared histories and experiences.