Contemporary Art from Remote Australia
Darwin, NT — Since 2008
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Exhibition

Ngunytju Kutjutja – One Mother – Janie and Muna Kulyuru

Where

Outstation Gallery
8 Parap Place
Parap, 0820
Darwin, Northern Territory

Art Centres

This exhibition is brought to you by Outstation, in collaboration with the following art centres:

Artists

  • Janie Kulyuru Lewis
  • Janie and Muna Kulyuru
  • Muna Kulyuru

Nestled by the foot of the majestic Mount Lindsay, about 200 km south west of Uluru is a place called Watarru. This is Pitjantjatjara desert country; the place of isolated mountain ranges, vast rock formations, and seemingly endless stretches of sandhill plains. This is Muna and Janie Kulyuru’s mother’s father’s Country, and is the inspiration and subject at the heart of their most recent body of work, ‘Ngunytju Kutjutja: One Mother.’

Janie and Muna grew up together on Country in the Central Desert, moving with family between remote communities Pukatja (Ernabella), Amata, Fregon and Finke, before settling and starting their own families here in Amata. In their distinct styles, both artists depict their Tjamu’s (grandfather’s) Country at Watarru, describing the physical landscape in their works and the inseparable Tjukurpa (Dreaming) that animates it. For both artists, their depictions of Country transcend physical or geographical descriptions of land, and are instead deeply rooted in conceptions of place hood, belonging, and ancestral wisdom. Muna explains,

 

“We paint the stories of our mother’s father’s Ngura (Country), over at Watarru. Tjukurpa pulka, it’s a big story there. We paint the minyma tjuta Tjukurpa, the story of many women. The women gather together, dancing and singing, and creating the landscape as they go… Our paintings are different, but it’s one story we are telling. We each tell a different layer of this story, but it’s really the same story we are painting here.”

Muna Kulyuru, 2023

 

“I am proud to paint my mother’s Country, and to share some of her story. Our spirits (kurunpa) are proud.”

Janie Kulyuru 2023

 

Janie and Muna are sisters, friends, neighbours, and collaborators, working side-by-side on a daily basis. The artists have been working at Tjala Arts since its inception, beginning their artistic careers in batik at Tjurma Homelands Arts and Craft Centre, before beginning to paint on canvas at the art centre then known as Minymaku Arts.

Muna Kulyuru is known for her vibrant, energetic paintings which celebrate the vitality of her Country and its important cultural stories. Through rich patchworks of dots, swathes of colour and networks of lines Muna renders the rock formations and landmarks of her Tjamu’s Country, punctuated with iconography relating to inma (ceremonial dance) and ancestral stories. Together with her artistic practice Muna is a teacher at the local Amata School, where she dedicates her time to fostering Anangu cultural values and knowledge in the next generations.

Like Muna, Janie celebrates her Tjamu’s Country at Watarru and the Tjukurpa that animates it. Janie recounts the stories of minyma tjuta Tjukurpa – the story of many women as it relates to fire Tjukurpa. Janie describes the journey of the women as they travel across the landscape through long, winding lines and forms, dotted with meticulously rendered iconography related inma (ceremonial dance).  Through subtle tonal shifts and intricate mark-making Janie creates canvases which seem to flicker with the heat and energy of the desert.

In celebration of their first joint exhibition, the two artists have come together on a large-scale collaborative canvas, which they have titled Ngura Nganampa – Our Place. In this special collaborative work the artists have worked tjungu (together) to remember, celebrate, and honour their Tjamu’s country.

Ngayuku Ngura - My Country Janie Kulyuru Lewis

A$7,900  —  Details  /  Enquire

Ngayuku Ngura - My Country Janie Kulyuru Lewis

A$9,600  —  Details  /  Enquire

Ngayuku Ngura - My Country Janie Kulyuru Lewis

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Ngayuku Ngura - My Country Janie Kulyuru Lewis

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Ngayuku Ngura - My Country Janie Kulyuru Lewis

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Ngayuku Ngura - My Country Janie Kulyuru Lewis

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Ngayuku Ngura - My Country Janie Kulyuru Lewis

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Ngura Nganampa - Our Place Janie and Muna Kulyuru

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Ngayuku Ngura - My Country Muna Kulyuru

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Ngayuku Ngura - My Country Muna Kulyuru

A$6,200  —  Details  /  Enquire

Ngayuku Ngura - My Country Muna Kulyuru

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Ngayuku Ngura - My Country Muna Kulyuru

A$3,850  —  Details  /  Enquire

Ngayuku Ngura - My Country Muna Kulyuru

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Ngayuku Ngura - My Country Muna Kulyuru

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