Artists from Tjala Arts; Yaritji Young, Tjunkara Ken (seated) and Sandra Ken with their collaborative painting
Posted by Jeremy Eccles | 23.03.11
Gallery: Raft Artspace
Location: 8 Hele Crescent, Alice Springs, NT 0871 Telephone 08 89533236
Ngayulu witini ngayuku Mamaku tjukurpa. Ngayulu witini ngayuku Ngunytjuku tjukurpa. - "I hold My Fathers Story. I hold my Mothers Story".
This exhibition is the outcome of a project initiated by Hector Burton who is a senior man working for Tjala Arts in remote Amata, SA. During 2010, Hector Burton began bringing in young men (mostly his grandsons) and teaching them his story - Ananmura Tjukurpa - The Caterpillar Law - also a recently revived ceremony. Other Tjilipi’s (old men) followed suit and the result was a period of intensive ‘classes’ for want of a better word, given by old men to the young men.
During this time, a young man from Amata Community passed away in a tragic car accident. Kumanara Raymond was a much loved young man, an excellent football player, a young leader with a brilliant sense of humour. As the community was reeling in grief, the Old Men decided to make a series of artworks that would honour his name, an exhibition in the memory of Kumanara Raymond.
Kumanara Raymond’s mother is one of the young stars of Tjala Arts. Tjungkara Ken and her family are all committed artists - Ray Ken, Frank Young, Mick Wikilyiri, Yaritji Young Paniny Mick, Sylvia Ken. So the women joined the project, and more collaborative works were made. What started as a Men’s project has become something quite different. This will be a special exhibition, one that means a great deal to the artists and the Amata community.
"Tjala Arts will be making a contribution to the Amata football team and the APY Lands football competition following the exhibition, and a Kumanara Raymond Best and Fairest Football prize will be rolled out next year", says Skye O’Meara, Manager Tjala Arts
Statement from the Ken and Young Family;
The Ken and Young Families wish to celebrate the life of Kumanara Raymond through this exhibition. We think he would be happy with these paintings, we made them in a special way to make him proud. Kumanara Raymond was a strong proud Anangu Man - strong in Pitjantjatjara Law, like all the men of his family. We have painted our country and our story which we shared with this young man. The other families in Amata Community joined us making these paintings in his memory.
Kumanara Raymond was a star football player, he played fullback for Amata Bombers. We will remember him in this exhibition and we will remember him when our football team wears new uniforms; we will remember him all the time – even though our hearts have been broken.
Raft Gallery Director, Dallas Gold adds that the whole exhibition has been bought by a single collector with a view to touring it and ultimately presenting it to the NGV.
Hector Tjupuru Burton 'Anumara Tjukurpa Manta-Earth', 2010. Acrylic on linen, 197x197cm
Installation of the Tjala Arts exhibition at the new RAFT artspace in Alice Springs