Deriving from a tiny community in the north-western corner of South Australia, Ninuku Arts is one of the most exciting art centres to emerge over the past 10 years.
This online exhibition brings a focus to two of the most senior lawmen and painters from the community – Harry Tjutjuna and Sandy Brumby. As the traditional owners of the land, these men hold a great wealth of knowledge and the most significant stories of their country deep within their hearts and are tasked with its survival and passage into the next generation.
It is critical to the continuation of this great Indigenous culture that it is taught to the future generations.
As senior man and Ngangkari (traditional healer) Harry Tjutjuna describes, "Old generation are here now and I am old generation too. Lots of old generation have passed away. What can we do? What happens when I pass away? New generation got to learn Tjukurpa (Dreaming Stories)."
Amongst the two men, Harry Tjutjuna is the more senior artist, and is dubbed as the Spider Man as spider is the ancestral being he most strongly identifies with. Harry’s unique style and approach has made him one of the most sought-after practicing artists in the country. He paints a range of stories with both authority and courage. He is known for the drippy, painterly qualities in his technique, and is a natural colourist often choosing a palette of vibrant, poppy hues.
Sandy Brumby, on the other hand, born in the bush at Victory Downs, was a stockman for many years, long before Kalka and the Pipalyatjara communities existed. In 2010, in his sixties, Sandy Brumby picked up a paint brush for the first time and since has religiously painted, discovering a passion for paint and need to tell his story. The marks he uses are reminiscent of symbols seen in rock paintings around Uluru and Kata Tjuta. His paintings are raw and bold, and demonstrate a strong connection to his country and culture. He has a deep love of colours and uses a broad palette when he paints, selecting the colours that sit side by side with natural intuition.