Betty Kuntiwa Pumani
Betty Kuntiwa Pumani is a respected senior artist and traditional custodian of the significant site of Antara, her mother’s Country. She is the daughter of the late Kunmanara Milatjari Pumani and the younger sister of the late Kunmanara Ngupulya Pumani, both renowned artists and two of the founders of Mimili Maku Arts. Pumani is a Ngangkari, healer, and teacher, having worked at the Mimili Anangu School alongside her sister, Kunmanara Ngupulya Pumani, for many years before commencing her painting career at Mimili Maku Arts in 2007.
Recognised for her startling use of vibrant reds, contrasting whites and intense cobalt blues within her serpentine large scale visionary compositions, Pumani’s extraordinary rise in the Australian contemporary art world has been well recognised after her successive wins of both the 2015 and 2016 General Painting Award of the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award at the Museum Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin and winning the 2017 Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
In 2019, Betty Kuntiwa Pumani was announced as the winner of the prestigious $50,000 Len Fox Painting Award at Castlemaine Art Museum, Victoria.
In 2020, Pumani was again shortlisted for the 37th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, this time with a collaborative piece she created with her daughter Marina Pumani Brown, who is also an exhibiting artist at Alcaston Gallery.
In 2021 Pumani was selected to present a major commission at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, as part of The National 2021: New Australian Art. In the same year she was also announced as a finalist for the Hadley’s Art Prize in Hobart, Tasmania and for the Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales with a collaborative piece she created with her daughter Marina Pumani Brown.
Betty Kuntiwa Pumani's works feature in numerous important collections and major institutions including Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, Netherlands; Artbank, Australia; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria; Castlemaine Art Museum, Victoria; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra; Kaplan and Levi Collection, Seattle, USA and private collections.
© The Artist, Mimili Maku and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne 2021
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