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. The artist's first solo exhibition will be presented by Alcaston Gallery in 2018. 

© The Artist, Mimili Maku and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne 2017

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

 

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     Finalist – Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales

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