We are pleased to announce that the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, has just acquired from us artworks by Philip Gudthaykudthay, Bobby Bununggurr, Kunmanara Kankapankatja & Cornelia Tipuamantumirri.
The Gallery acquired two major paintings by Bula'bula Arts' renowned artist, Philip Gudthaykudthay. Both paintings portray Garrtjambul (Kangaroo), one of his main stories. The NGA has a long history of acquiring Gudthaykudthay's work across all media: the first acquistion was two barks in 1983, with regular acquistions thereafter. He was also one of the artists selected for the inaugural National Indigenous Art Triennial Culture Warriors in 2007.
Also from Bula'bula Arts, Bobby Bununggurr's painting, "Swamp Story", details how his people lived in the days before European settlement. Bununggurr sees his art as a vehicle to teach others - Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal - about his people and traditional ways. Bununggurr was first acquired by the NGA in 1988.
The NGA acquired its first work by Cornelia Tipuamantumirri, Munupi Arts. Titled "Winga (Waves)", this was one of the featured works in our March exhibition, "Nginingawula Munupi Jilamara: Our paintings from Munupi". Tipuamantumirri has only been painting on linen since 2010, but she has a life time of painting for ceremony.
An important drawing by Kunmanara Tjilpi Kankapankatja, Kaltjiti Arts, was also acquired. "Nyangatja ngayuku ara irititja" depicts the artist's memory of growing up on country. It was a great tragedy that Kankapankatja died suddenly at the beginning of the year, just as he was gaining national acclaim for his powerful drawings and paintings. This work on paper was one of his last pieces, being completed about a month before he died. It complements a painting already in the NGA collection.
We congratulate the artists on these significant acquisitions.