Our artists

Our artists hail from across Australia, from Canberrans Ham Darroch and Derek O’Connor, with their celebrated contributions to contemporary abstract art, to Mary Meribida and Margaret Baragurra from Bidyadanga on the Kimberley coast, whose art transmits something of the vibrancy of nature and of life there. Located in between these far-apart places are a select group working out of the APY Lands in South Australia. It is from here that Jimmy Donegan brings us his richly layered desertscapes and Samuel Miller his visually dazzling counterparts, which are complimented by the striking avian artworks of Nyanu Watson and the stunning site-specific paintings of Monica Putjina Watson.

One of Twelve partners with established and respected community owned art centres across Australia and our region, to ensure that artists receive proper value for their work, and that our customers receive the highest quality products in return. 

Celebrating and supporting artists is at the heart of what we do. We believe their artworks have the capacity to make our daily lives richer, while contributing to the cultures of communities and nations throughout our region. It is an honour to be able to work with such a talented group of people.

 

Ham Darroch

B. 1972 Sydney, Australia

Canberra-based contemporary artist Ham Darroch works in sculpture, performance and drawing. His artistic practice draws on recognisable objects of both everyday life and of art history to create abstract works that, through careful referencing of shared histories and experiences, appear effortlessly comforting and familiar. He studied at the Australian National University and University of New South Wales, and has subsequently worked as a studio assistant to the renowned British artist Bridget Riley. His works are held in numerous places including the Bundanon Trust collection, Brazilian Embassy, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Canberra Museum and Gallery, and private collections in Australia and the United Kingdom. Widespread admiration for his art continues to grow. In 2017, Ham won the Rosalie Gascoigne Memorial Award for contemporary art.

Measure Wall painting Sydney Contemporary Art Fair Carriageworks 2015

Derek O’Connor

1957 Warwickshire, England
Australia since 1969
About

Derek O’Connor was born in England in 1959 and migrated to Adelaide in 1969. He later moved to Canberra to study painting at the Australian National University, and has since developed a successful career, exhibiting regularly in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra since 1991.

Derek is primarily an abstract painter whose work is informed by material, method and intuition. His paintings are layered, scraped-back and reworked until they reach completion, the subject often revealing itself. His work is imbued with fluidity and energy, and an emotive quality that comes from the physicality of his painting technique.

He is an avid reader particularly of art history and World War II literature and it is integral to his practice. His latest series Dog Days uses the covers of Time Life books as a background to his paintings. A selection of these along with a back catalogue of much of his work can be viewed on his website.

do-transmission-2014

Jimmy Donegan

circa 1940 Yanpan, Western Australia
Community
Kalka, South Australia
Language
Pitjantjatjara
About

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. Born and raised in remote Western Australia, Donegan laboured as a stockman, craftsman, and senior lawman, and in the 1970s helped organise the outstations movement. Since beginning to paint in 2000, the artist has become renown nationally and abroad for his rich and vivid compositions of his cultural inheritance. He now paints for Ninuku Arts in the APY Lands of South Australia.

Art Centre
Ninuku Arts
Galleries 
Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
Aboriginal and Pacific Art Sydney
RAFT Art Space Alice Springs + RAFT South, Hobart
Short Street Gallery Broome
Outstation Gallery Darwin
Chapman & Bailey Melbourne
Aboriginal Signature Bruessels, Germany
Redot Singapore
Artkelch Freiburg, Germany
Harvey Art Projects New York, USA 
Pukara

Mary Meribida

circa 1930 Ilyara (Punmu), Western Australia
Community
Bidyadanga, Broome
Language
Yulparija
About

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. They settled in the coastal town of Bidyadanga (formerly La Grange Mission) on the Kimberley coast, where the artist now lives with her husband and fellow artist Donald Moko.

FIND
Short Street Gallery, Broome
MARY IS REPRESENTED BY SHORT ST GALLERY IN BROOME, AND EXHIBITS IN VARIOUS GALLERIES WORLDWIDE.
Untitled Mary Meribida Acrylic on canvas 2004

Kunmana (Samuel) Miller

1966 ERNABELLA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
COMMUNITY
KALKA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
LANGUAGE
PITJANTJATJARA
ABOUT

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. He grew up in Amata and Pipalyatjara and now lives at Kalka in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands with Molly and the rest of the family.

His paintings depict in technicolour detail the rockholes, creeks and hills relayed in Tjukurpa (Dreaming stories) that track across the artist’s ancestral land east of Pipalyatjara.

FIND
ART CENTRE
NINUKU ARTS
GALLERIES
ALCASTON GALLERY, MELBOURNE
ABORIGINAL AND PACIFIC ART, SYDNEY
RAFT ART SPACE, ALICE SPRINGS
SHORT STREET GALLERY, BROOME
OUTSTATION GALLERY, DARWIN
CHAPMAN & BAILEY, MELBOURNE
ABORIGINAL SIGNATURE, BRUESSELS (BELGIUM)
REDOT, SINGAPORE
ARTKELCH, FREIBURG (GERMANY)
HARVEY ART PROJECTS, NEW YORK (USA)
Ngayuku Ngura Samuel Miller Acrylic on Canvas 2016

Margaret Baragurra

B. C. 1939 KALPIRTI, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
COMMUNITY
BIDYADANGA, BROOME
LANGUAGE
YULPARIJA
ABOUT

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. In the 1970s a sustained drought forced her people, the Yulparija, to leave their traditional country and settle in the coastal town of Bidyadanga on the Kimberley coast (formerly La Grange Mission), some 250 kilometres south of Broome. The artist began painting in 2003 and is known for combining traditional designs from the Great Sandy Desert with the vibrant colours of the Kimberley.

FIND
Short Street Gallery, Broome
MARGARET IS REPRESENTED BY SHORT ST GALLERY IN BROOME, AND EXHIBITS IN VARIOUS GALLERIES WORLDWIDE.
Kampagee

Nyanu Watson

B 1951 ERNABELLA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
COMMUNITY
KALKA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
LANGUAGE
PITJANTJATJARA
ABOUT

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.

The artist is now a prominent member of the Kalka Community, and is well known for her unique depictions of local wildlife – especially the Ngintaka (Lizard), Anumara (Caterpillar), and Kakalyalya (Cockatoo) – along with her involvement in the collaborative efforts of the renowned Tjanpi Desert Weavers.

Art Centre
Ninuku Arts
Galleries 
Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
Aboriginal and Pacific Art Sydney
RAFT Art Space Alice Springs + RAFT South, Hobart
Short Street Gallery Broome
Outstation Gallery Darwin
Chapman & Bailey Melbourne
Aboriginal Signature Bruessels, Germany
Redot Singapore
Artkelch Freiburg, Germany
Harvey Art Projects New York, USA 
ninuku-16-183

Monica Puntjina Watson

C.1940 PUKARA ROCK HOLE (CLOSE TO IRRUNYTJU), WESTERN AUSTRALIA
COMMUNITY
PIPALYATJARA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
LANGUAGE
PITJANTJATJARA
ABOUT

A Pipalytjara elder, Monica Putjina Watson was born in or around 1940 at the rockhole Pukara in Western Australia, an important site for the water snake Tjukurpa (dreaming story). 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 finally returned home with her husband and children.

Monica now paints with Ninuku Arts and is known for her use of bright colours, especially yellow, and dynamic compositions. Her art is included in several national collections.

Art Centre
Ninuku Arts
Galleries 
Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
Aboriginal and Pacific Art Sydney
RAFT Art Space Alice Springs + RAFT South, Hobart
Short Street Gallery Broome
Outstation Gallery Darwin
Chapman & Bailey Melbourne
Aboriginal Signature Bruessels, Germany
Redot Singapore
Artkelch Freiburg, Germany
Harvey Art Projects New York, USA 
Monica Watson
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