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'Women of Utopia' | Aboriginal Art Exhibition
27th June - 21st July 2018
‘Women of Utopia’ is an exhibition showcasing significant artworks by some of Australia’s most recognisable female Aboriginal artists from the Utopia region in Central Australia.
Approximately 230kms north east of Alice Springs in Central Australia, Utopia is the traditional land of the Alyawarre and Anmatyerre people. This region has been and still is home to some of Australia’s most distinguished female artistic talent.
Utopia has grown the genius of artistic luminaries such as Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Gloria Petyarre, Minnie Pwerle, Kathleen Petyarre, Margaret Loy Pula and Polly Ngale. These women have been collected by museums and private collectors both nationally and internationally with Emily Kame Kngwarreye achieving the highest secondary auction price for any female Australian visual artist to date.
The modern Aboriginal art movement in Utopia began in the late 1970s with a group of Anmatyerre women participating in a series of batik-making fabric workshops. It unearthed a community of unbelievable talent with the women of Utopia the driving force behind the art from this region. As a variety of tools and a broader palette became available, their natural curiosity and preparedness to experiment initiated a boldness in style and colour.
The Anmatyerre and Alyawarre people employ a verbal and visual record of ancient belief and custom rather than a written one. Today’s contemporary Aboriginal artworks are an extension of tradition. The mediums may have changed but the purpose is fundamentally the same as it has been for thousands of years. Art has been an integral part of everyday life, expressed in song, dance, and ceremony.
The works in the exhibition depict the focus of cultural maintenance regarding country, food, traditional practices, law and the complex social system to which they adhere.