Greg Semu - The Raft of the Tagata Pasifika (People of the Pacific) 2017
The Raft of the Tagata Pasifika (People of the Pacific) is Semu’s most recent and ambitious project to date, whereby he has assigned himself the task of questioning the fact or fiction of the painterly recorded history of colonisation by referencing two culturally significant paintings: first, Theodore Géricault's 1819 masterwork, The Raft of the Medusa and secondly, The Arrival of the Māoris in New Zealand, 1898 by English-born Louis John Steele and New Zealander Charles F. Goldie. Grasping photography’s traditional perception as a device for representing truth, Semu has photographically recreated the epic sea voyage using residents of the Cook Islands; consequently fusing and appropriating ideals from the two referenced paintings to cement art historically and for the first time an often shared Māori depiction of the true events surrounding their ancestors’ arrival in New Zealand.
‘I want my images to be iconic and significant in a world sense, tribulation to the collaboration of the displaced, frozen and distilled in a frame: testaments that transcend geography and generations, transfiguring the ambiguous power and affirmation of photography and art.’
- Greg Semu
The Raft of the Tagata Pasifika (People of the Pacific) was exhibited at the NGV International, Melbourne from 10 June to 11 September 2016. Alcaston Gallery is thrilled to present the complete series commercially for the first time.
Image: Greg Semu, The Raft, 2014-2016, Digital C-type print
© Greg Semu and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
BETTY KUNTIWA PUMANI WITH NGUPULYA PUMANI + TUPPY GOODWIN: Malaku Angkupai Antaraku: Always returning to Antara
Alcaston Gallery is thrilled to present a powerful exhibition of new paintings by Betty Kuntiwa Pumani, alongside the work of her older sister Ngupulya Pumani, and their fellow senior cultural woman Tuppy Goodwin.
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 grandparents on her mother’s side were King Everard (Nyapi) and Mantjangka Everard. 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.
Recognised for her startling use of vibrant red, contrasting whites and intense cobalt blues within serpentine large-scale visionary compositions, 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 at the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin. In 2017 she was awarded the prestigious Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Ngupulya Pumani is a senior Anangu woman who is committed to fostering traditional law and culture in her community. She began painting in 2009 with the Mimili Maku Arts Centre. Pumani is recognised for her deep cultural knowledge, portrayed with intricate detail and intense luminous palettes. In 2017 she was a finalist in the prestigious Wynne prize and her work is held in major collectioons throughout Australia and abroad.
Tuppy Goodwin’s colourful contemporary paintings depict her country with fluid brushstrokes, bold colour and textural detail. Goodwin is married to fellow Mimili artist Mumu Mike Williams, and her is held in several major public and private collections.
The dynamic work of these three strong women has been brought together to create a bold and diverse exhibition of contemporary indigenous art from the APY lands, South Australia.
Image: Betty Pumani, Antara 2017 (AK21109) synthetic polymer paint on linen 197 x 197 cm