Friday, 8 October 2010

An aboriginal art exhibition; latest works by Barbara Weir

Mbantua Gallery have an art exhibition running from today until Thursday 4th November, of works by a prestigious aboriginal artist named Barbara Weir. The Grass Seed paintings represent a grass called Lyaw in Barbara's native language and she's experimented with some gorgeous subtle hues to depict this. This painting below is a mixture of burnt umber, australian ghost gum and antique white healthcare administration programs and I've fallen in love with it! Fortunately there are a few new paintings in this colour scheme!

Below are some of the paintings in the exhibition or there is a video of the artworks on youtube. Although you can read more about Barbara Weir on Mbantua's website, in brief Barbara was part of the stolen generation - taken from her mother Minnie Pwerle when she was nine. She's had an incredible life of struggle bulk candles and fortune, of juggling her career while raising a large family as a single mother, and of fusing different cultures together. There is so much more one could say about her, but for now I'll leave you with these pics from the exhibition. I definitely love looking at the brown hues in the bottom row - they're actually very unique to see  in her work. What do you think?

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Tomoko and Dale visit the aboriginal artists of Utopia....

Watch Dale and Tomoko with the artists in the aboriginal settlement of Utopia in Central Australia!

Australian Aboriginal Art

Australian Aboriginal Art

For September Mbantua Gallery frozen movie is showcasing the works of Aboriginal artists Lena Pwerle and Jeannie Mills, two 'boss' women from the Utopia region. On display throughout the Gallery are many examples of their fine work. We have also gathered them into an online exhibition on our website.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Aboriginal Art "Open House" in Melbourne this week

Mbantua Gallery's GM, Tim Jennings, will have an "open house" this Wednesday and Thursday between 6pm and 9pm at the Milano Serviced Apartments at 8 Franklin Street in the city. He has selected a very nice range of mostly bright and beautiful paintings to bring from Mbantua Gallery in Alice Springs and hopefully they will help out against the Melbourne winter!!


Along with a delightful set of a dozen 18th-century pocket-watch-size miniatures in oval frames picturing a rabbit, a donkey and 10 different species of birds, at Elle Shushan, there’s a small, deftly made pastel self-portrait by John Raphael Smith best prices: abstract paintings.

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If you've never had an appointment with us on our trips before, I think this is a great opportunity to shed the anxieties and see what its all about! 6pm - 9pm is a great time if you're just finishing work in the CBD too; you can just go on up and have a look at the Aboriginal art works, ask questions, buy some art or get to know us. Knowing my dad, he'll have some nice wine on hand too! He's exceptionally knowledgeable on the aboriginal art and the Utopia juegos artists, and for over 20 years he has grown Mbantua Gallery into an amazing (if I say so) culturally enriched Aboriginal Art gallery from its small general store origins.

If you are thinking of coming along, just give Tim a ring on 0417 809373 or email us so we can give him an indication and he can get back to you with his Apartment number.

Above: This is a pic of our last set up in Melbourne when we showcased Jeannie Mills, Gloria Petyarre and Lena Pwerle. As you can see, you can just relax and flick through paintings or have them held up for you against the living room walls - great way to envisage them in a home environment!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Around the Traps in Aboriginal Art...

So i've got a little bit to catch up on and I'll start with a thank you for the blog comments we've received recently. We appreciate you taking the time to let us know your thoughts.

Since our last entry Mbantua Gallery has had many new paintings arrive including these three pieces:
Clockwise from right: 'Tyape (Grubs) at Aremela Rockhole' by Gary Bird, 'Ntyemeny (Ruby Saltbush)' by Thelma Dixon and 'Bush Plum' by Tanya Bird

Tanya has recently returned to painting and told us she had an idea for new paintings using just white, black and grey to convey her subject. She wanted to know if we'd be interested in letting her try some out for us. Of course and we love them!! A lot of men from Tanya's family have happy wheels demo also been keenly painting so keep a look out on Mbantua's website for these more traditional works like Gary's above.

Aboriginal artists Lena Pwerle and Jeannie Mills Pwerl spent a month at our workshop in town in July working on some paintings and going shopping, and I enjoyed listening to their stories and photographing them in action. One of my favourite moments was when I had just sat down with them, completely exhausted after a long day, and Lena told me fascinating stories - particularly about giving birth in the bush. I'll point out that my sister Andrea, who had her first child in May this year, had just stopped in to say a quick hello and after she left I asked Lena what it was like with her many children! She told me there was no help from nurses then and no drugs, just the other ladies of her community who had experienced it before. There was always a camp fire burning nearby, so the hot sand would be put over her afterwards to help the pain, and soak up blood. Lena recalled how her youngest child, Paul, was born 'when the rain was coming' in a dry river bed. After he was born, she couldn't breast feed him so they fed him chewed up bush yams and goanna meet, and kangaroo blood to keep him growing. I was so captivated listening to her talk.

The gallery has some fantastic pieces of their work online right now so I recommend checking it out. Personally I love so many things about this new piece by Lena below, measuring 210x90cm and painted in umber, ash pink and white...the mixed colour combinations throughout the soakages, the way the paints have blended together, the depth and the simple earthy tones. I love it!

Mbantua recently had a stunning collection of the late Minnie Pwerle's works in an exhibition which ends tomorrow. The exhibition is the first of a series which will be raising money for The Mbantua Foundation, of which you can contact the Foundation's newly appointed Development Manager Miranda Daniels on (08) 89533 577 should you want to learn more about it. Since the exhibition will go offline tomorrow, I've posted pics of a few of the paintings featured in it: 


I also recently went to Utopia to collect paintings and Miranda joined me on the trip which was great. So I'll be posting some notes and photos of the trip here soon too!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Utopia aboriginal art to Brisbane: June 22nd - 25th

Mbantua Gallery will have a team in Brisbane from Tuesday 22nd - Friday 25th June showcasing the works by aboriginal artists Lena Pwerle, Jeannie Mills and Gloria Petyarre.

"Russle up some wine and cheese, gather your friends together at your home or our apartment and we’ll do the rest. We have a presentation that we will attune to your requirements and a brand new host incentive scheme. Or book a private appointment for you and/or a friend to view the art at our CBD apartment."

If you’d like to schedule an appointment or home show during this time, please contact Mbantua Gallery.