Art Mob is an Aboriginal Fine Art Gallery

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Jennifer Forbes, Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters Story) 2017

Aboriginal culture has always been a vital component of Australian history, with art being perhaps its most iconic facet. Art Mob, an Aboriginal fine art gallery located in Hobart, Tasmania, forefronts not only the rawness and beauty of Aboriginal art, but also the stories that lay just beneath the canvas. Ultimately, I had to see it for myself.

Monica Watson, Pukara 2017-
Monica Watson, Pukara 2017-This is a story about kaliny-kalinypa (honey grevillea plant), which Anangu (the term for people in Pitjantjatjara) use as a type of bush lolly, sucking the nectar out of the plant. In the Tjukurpa (Dreaming story) a father and son, Wati Kutjara Wanampi (two male water snakes), are living at Pukara, an important waterhole site near Irrunytju (Wingellina) – http://www.artmob.com.au/artists/Pitjantjatjarra-Pictured/8.html

I arrived early. I was attending the opening night of Art Mob’s Pitjantjatjarra Pictured exhibit, an Aboriginal art exhibit from Ninuku Arts in APY Land, and there were already a handful of people quietly observing the artwork – wonderfully textured, colourful, and intricately designed pieces from this remote part of Australia.

Jimmy Donegan Pukara 2015
Jimmy Donegan Pukara 2015 – This is a story about kaliny-kalinypa (honey grevillea plant), which Anangu (the term for people in Pitjantjatjara) use as a type of bush lolly, sucking the nectar out of the plant… http://www.artmob.com.au/artists/Pitjantjatjarra-Pictured/5.html

The gallery’s second exhibit from the northwest corner of South Australia, the first being displayed back in 2003, Pitjantjatjarra Pictured features pieces from Harry Tjutjuna, Jimmy Donegan, Jennifer Forbes, and Angela Watson, some of which have already sold, with one already on its way to Switzerland.

Harry Tjutjuna Wati Nyiru 2008
Harry Tjutjuna Wati Nyiru 2008 – This is Wati Nyiru, a man named ‘Nyiru’, who is watching the seven sisters up on the hill near Whyalla, other side of Port Augusta. He watches them go into the cave, he blocks the cave but the ladies go through the cave and out the other side…http://www.artmob.com.au/artists/Pitjantjatjarra-Pictured/18.html

I looked around the room admiring the craftsmanship, completely mesmerised. Each piece offered up a different style, technique and story, demonstrating the artistic story telling that so closely accompanies Aboriginal culture.

Judy Miller, Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters Story) 2016-
Judy Miller, Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters Story) 2016-This is a major Tjukurpa for Irrunytju (Wingellina) and across the central Australian deserts. The seven sisters travelled from Kaliwarra to Wannan in Western Australia, stopping at significant sites and rockholes including Kuru Ala, a sacred place for women…http://www.artmob.com.au/artists/Pitjantjatjarra-Pictured/2.html

Rita Watson’s “Tjintita Tjukurpa” (number 12) was beautiful and thought provoking. Her work offers a contrasting vibrancy of colour and tells the story of a woman Lizard, Linga, drinking from the rockhole Tjintita, where an army of water snakes decide to kill her.

Rita Watson Tjintitia Tjukurpa 2017, crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au, crowdink , crowd ink
Rita Watson Tjintitia Tjukurpa 2017 – This one is the woman Lizard ‘Linga’ drinking water from the rockhole Tjintita. All the Wati Wanambi (army of watersnakes) see her drinking from this water and say ‘hey this woman drinking water, let’s go and kill her’. They kill her here and take her and put her in the hole at Wanambi ngura Nigultu. Don’t drink the water. Only dingo drink the water not all the people – it’s too dangerous. These marks are the spear marks. This one is sandhill country, all along. This side of Ilurpa in Western Australia. This is my country.

 

A little after 6pm, Euan Hills, the owner of Art Mob, gave a quick speech about APY land and officially opened the exhibit with a moment’s silence for the late Aboriginal musician Dr. G. Yunupingu and the playing of the opening track from his self-titled album.

Jimmy Donegan, Pukara 2014
Jimmy Donegan, Pukara 2014- This is a story about kaliny-kalinypa (honey grevillea plant), which Anangu (the term for people in Pitjantjatjara) use as a type of bush lolly, sucking the nectar out of the plant. In the Tjukurpa (Dreaming story) a father and son, Wati Kutjara Wanampi (two male water snakes), are living at Pukara, an important waterhole site near Irrunytju (Wingellina)…http://www.artmob.com.au/artists/Pitjantjatjarra-Pictured/4.html

I later asked Euan how this exhibit would assist the artists and communities currently supported by Ninuku Arts, namely Pipalyatjara and Kalka. He explained that, unlike other galleries, he purchased the exhibit’s artwork outright, ensuring the artists received immediate financial compensation for their artistic contributions.

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Harry Tjutjuna, Wanka Spider, 2008-In speaking of his work Harry initially talked about spiderwebs, as a direct visual reference to the web-like forms. He then went on to describe himself as spider man, spiders being involved with the Tjukurpa, or creation stories of his birthplace….http://www.artmob.com.au/artists/Pitjantjatjarra-Pictured/19.html

Though limited to the Hobart area, this exhibit is an experience worth indulging in, no matter your location. Aboriginal culture is a vital component of Australian history, with traditional art playing an iconic role. Each piece in the exhibit offers a unique view of how each artist views their own culture, stories and style.

crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au, crowdink , crowd ink, JEmily Buddy, Malara 2017-
Emily Buddy, Malara 2017-This is a creation story about an ancestral figure known as Wati Wanampi (male water snake), who lived at a waterhole site known at Malara. The Wanampi gathered a group of men together to go out hunting for kuka (meat)…. http://www.artmob.com.au/artists/Pitjantjatjarra-Pictured/13.html

Regardless of your historical knowledge, this exhibit undoubtedly delivers diverse themes, national appreciation and stories that deserve to be shared. The exhibition runs at Art Mob in Hobart, Tasmania from August 3rd -20th 2017.