Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 22.09.10
What is the inspiration behind the show?
Papunya Tula remains the defining art centre of the modern Aboriginal art movement, it is steeped in history and one cannot proclaim to be a serious Aboriginal art space without a show or the support of this seminal institution. The inspiration behind this show is to continue the work that ReDot Fine Art Gallery, in conjunction with Papunya Tula and specifically Paul Sweeney and Sarita Quinlivan, started 6 years ago and that is to educate the Singaporean market and the overseas collectors to the beauty and importance of this art movement and the complexity and harmony the works convey to their audience. To learn about ancestral stories, to be at peace with nature, to relate the struggles that these people have had in their existence with white fella and to bring the Pintupi culture to Singapore.
When was the last time the people of Singapore had the opportunity to see similar works?
We hold one Papunya Tula show per annum, normally around October, and this year is by far the most ambitious in terms of level of work and the number of works being shown. This is a testament to the commitment of the art centre to ReDot and to expanding this art movement overseas. The level and quality of the work this year would be hard to match even in Australia and certainly is amongst some of the most impressive recent works by established and emerging Papunya artists.
What are your three highlights of the show?
There are more than 3 highlights of this show. There are two 8x6 feet works by George Tjungurrayi and Yukultji Napangati, both Telstra finalist this year and indeed the George work is from last year's Telstra show, which are breathtaking. Beautiful works by Naata Nungurrayi, Makinti Napanangka, Mrs Reid Nakamarra, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa, Ningura Naparulla and several emerging artists. Infact every piece is special, it is the most important show to date in Singapore of Aboriginal art from this community.
Any funny stories in pulling this exhibition together?
Pulling works together for a Papunya Show is always fun as it allows me to spend time with my friends in Alice Springs that run this amazing community, that work tirelessly to support the people of Kintore and Kiwirrkura. Funny stories not really least none we can print anyway.. Couple of nasty hangovers in the process of pulling the works together but well worth it.
What have you learned over the last few years in bringing Aboriginal art exhibitions to Singapore?
I have learnt that the process of education is slow and that the need for understanding and relating to these special people not always easy. However, the works are magical and once people are made aware of the historical and spiritual backdrop for the movement it is rare not to find people falling in love with various differing styles from across the NT, WA and Northern parts of Australia, where most of the art centres I represent are situated.
What continues to inspire you about Indigenous art?
The fact that it remains so fresh and under-exposed and that when someone new comes into the gallery and sees it for the first time how often they are left in awe of the beauty of this primitive yet majestic contemporary art movement. Also the connection with artists whom in time have become friends and part of my gallery is important to me and inspires me to continue down this path.
What exhibitions can we expect to see in the future?
We will have a full 2011 calendar, works from Warmun, Balgo, a solo for Lindsay Harris, the 1st ever show in Singapore of PNG Barkcloths, a major show of works from the APY lands and many other bits and pieces - all aimed at expanding the knowledge of the art movement overseas. Oh and hopefully an even more impressive Papunya Tula show, if that is possible of course!