Hermannsburg Potters 2021 Artwa Urrknga Mpaaritjaarta - Men Making Claywork
Alcaston Gallery is thrilled to present new ceramic work by Western Aranda Men from The Hermannsburg Potters, including Voight Ratara, Exance Pareroultja Rex, Andrew Ebatarinja Kumara, Lawrence Jakamarra Inkamala and Colin Malbunka.
The Hermannsburg Potters are a collective of Western Aranda artists, renowned for their vibrant hand-crafted terracotta and underglaze pots that encapsulate Country, culture and contemporary life in Ntaria community (Hermannsburg), based at the remote foothills of the MacDonnell Ranges, 130 kilometres west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Artwa Urrknga Mpaaritjaarta - Men Making Claywork marks an important continuation of The Hermannsburg Potters 30-year legacy as the first exhibition of work created exclusively by Western Aranda men.
Since the establishment of The Hermannsburg Potters in 1990 the Potters have been principally represented by Western Aranda women, who are widely celebrated and recognised for their practice, with Lawrence Jakamarra Inkamala the sole male potter working at the collective until this year. Men such as Inkamala have practised clay work since the first wave of Western Aranda artists in the 1970s, whose techniques went on to influence the characteristic style of the current generation of Hermannsburg Potters, both men and women. In turn, their work has inspired emerging artists Voight Ratara, Exance Pareroultja Rex, Andrew Ebatarinja Kumaraand Colin Malbunka to establish their own claywork practice and develop their personal style for this collection of new works.
"This ground-breaking Hermannsburg Potter’s men’s exhibition, 'Artwa Urrknga Mpaaritjaarta - Men Making Claywork' signifies an important moment in the more than thirty-year relationship between Alcaston Gallery and The Hermannsburg Potters. The Potters’ history parallels with that of Alcaston Gallery, as I opened the gallery only a year before the Potters established in 1990, and we have supported and represented the Potters ever since, nurturing new and innovative ways for them to express their creativity and culture through their trailblazing ceramic practice.
Over the past three decades I have witnessed the artistic progression, expansion, and steady rise of this extraordinary group of artists. This current exhibition marks the formal re-introduction of Western Aranda men to the collective, celebrating an important legacy from the families and extended families of Potters; a continuation and progression of the enduring legacy of The Hermannsburg Potters." - Beverly Knight, Alcaston Gallery Director, November 2021
Artwa Urrknga Mpaaritjaarta - Men Making Claywork was produced as part of the Hermannsburg Potters Men’s Development Program, an important project launched in 2021 with the aim to maintain cultural heritage for the Western Aranda people with a particular focus on the Western Aranda men. The project, assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) Strengthening Rural Communities Program; and, project facilitator Nelson Armstrong.
© Hermannsburg Potters and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne 2021
JUDY HOLDING The Wren and the Pardalote
Judy Holding’s new series of small watercolours on timber board beautifully encapsulate the rich imagery of the Australian landscape; delicate depictions of native flora and fauna that observe the intricate relationships of the Wrens and Pardalotes that inhabit the artist’s property in rural Victoria. Produced during the quiet and isolated period of Victoria’s enduring lockdowns, Holding created The Wren and the Pardalote collection to bring joy to herself and to those around her.
JUDY MARTIN Kurunpa Tjunanyi - Putting The Spirit Back In Place
Alcaston Gallery is excited to present new paintings by senior Pitjantjatjara artist and ngangkari (traditional healer) Judy Martin in her long-awaited first-ever solo exhibition, Kurunpa Tjunanyi - Putting The Spirit Back In Place. Known for her bold visual language, Martin’s artistic practise draws inspiration from her wealth of cultural knowledge and intimate understanding of Country on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in north-west South Australia. Her paintings connect her father’s Country in the west of the APY Lands and her mother’s Country in the south, two locations geographically distant from the other, yet tethered by the artist’s familial ties.