Artist

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Betty Kuntiwa Pumani

Betty Kuntiwa Pumani

Betty Kuntiwa Pumani was born in the bush to mother Kunmanara (Milatjari) Pumani and father Sam Pumani near Perentie Bore, thirty kilometres from Mimili Community in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands) of far north South Australia. Her father’s country is near Watarru and her mother’s country is Antara. Today Betty and her older sister Ngupulya Pumani are custodians of Antara and its associated Dreamings.

Betty Kuntiwa Pumani’s paintings depict her mother’s country of Antara, a significant ceremonial site north-west of Mimili community that is sacred for Anangu (people). The site of Antara holds many Tjukurpa (songlines) that cross the country, and has an important rockhole where women perform inmaku pakani, a dance ceremony related to the maku (witchetty grub) tjukurpa, to create enough maku and food for everyone.

Betty Pumani’s extraordinary rise in the Australian contemporary art world has been well recognised with successive wins of both the 2015 and 2016 General Painting Award of the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. Recognised for her startling use of vibrant red and contrasting whites with serpentine large scale visionary compositions, her painting practice is commanding.

New work by Pumani was presented in Artists of the APY Lands at Alcaston Gallery in 2017. The show was a significant survey exhibition of paintings and masterly ceramics by artists from across the APY Lands of far north South Australia. Pumani will be exhibiting at Sydney Contemporary 2017, represented by Alcaston Gallery.

In 2018 Alcaston Gallery presented Betty Pumani’s first solo exhibition Malaku Angkupai Antaraku: Always Returning to Antara, which was a sell-out exhibition. In 2018 Betty Pumani was also a finalist in three prestigious art awards: the Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, for the second consecutive year; the 35th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia for the third consecutive year; and the Hadley’s Art Prize, Hadley’s Orient Hotel, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia for which she won the highly commended award.

In 2019 Betty Pumani was shortlisted for the Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney for the third consecutive year and the prestigious 36th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin for the fourth consecutive year.

In 2019 she was announced winner of the prestigious $50,000 Len Fox Painting Award at Castlemaine Art Museum, Victoria.

 

© The Artist, Mimili Maku and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne 2020

 

Solo Exhibitions:

2018     Malaku Angkupai Antaraku: Always Returning to Antara, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

2019     Betty Kuntiwa Pumani, Ngupulya Pumani, Marina Pumani Brown: Nganampa Walytja – Our Family, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

 

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2010 Mimili Maku, Gabrielle Gallery Pizzi, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

2011 Desert Mob, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

2011 Mimili Maku Arts, A. P. Bond Gallery, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

2012 Ngura Puti (Bush Home), Redot Gallery, Singapore

2013 Kinara Pulkapakani, Gabrielle Gallery Pizzi, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

2014 Desert Mob, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

2015  Western Australian Indigenous Art Award, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

2015 32nd Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

2015 Ngunytju Kurunpa – Mother Spirit, Outstation Gallery, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

2015 Tjintu Kuli – Summer Day, Aboriginal and Pacific Art, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

2015 Tjukurpa Kunpu – Strong Culture, Harvey Arts Projects, Idaho, USA

2016 Tjilpi munu Pampaku Tjukurpa Kunpu Kanyintjaku, RAFT Artspace, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

2016  Kantilya ngaran. Kuranyukutu nyakunytjaku, Outstation Gallery, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

2016 33rd Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

2016 Desert Mob, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

2016 Nganampa Kililpil – Our Stars, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Gymea, New South Wales, Australia

2017 Artists of the APY Lands, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

2017 Sydney Contemporary, Carriageworks, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, presented by Alcaston Gallery

2017     Installation Contemporary at Sydney Contemporary (Curated by Rachael Kent), Carriageworks, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

2017     Wynne Prize Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

2017-18   TARNANTHI: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, South Australia

2018     Wynne Prize Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

2018    35th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

2018     Art of the APY Art Centre Collective, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

2018     Sydney Contemporary 18, Carriageworks, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, presented by Alcaston Gallery

2018     Hadley’s Art Prize Exhibition, Hadley’s Orient Hotel, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

2018     Desert Mob, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

2018     Nganampa Ngura Kurunjara, The place of our spirit, OLSEN Gallery, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

2019     36th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

2019      Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

2019     Len Fox Painting Award, Castlemaine Art Museum, Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia

2019     Sydney Contemporary 19, Carriageworks, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, presented                by Alcaston Gallery

2019     From the Land, Castlemaine Art Museum, Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia 

 

Selected Awards:

2015     Finalist - Western Australian Indigenous Art Award

2015     WINNER – General Painting Award, 32nd Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award

2016     WINNER – General Painting Award, 33rd Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award

2017     WINNER – Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales

2018      Finalist – Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

2018     Finalist – 35th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

2018       Highly Commended Award – Hadley’s Art Prize, Hadley’s Orient Hotel, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

2019       Finalist, Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

2019       Finalist, 36th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

2019       WINNER, Len Fox Painting Award, Castlemaine Art Museum, Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia

 

Collections:

Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, Netherlands

Artbank, Australia

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Kaplan and Levi Collection, Seattle, USA

Private collections

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