BARBARA MBITJANA MOORE - Ngura Kunpu Kanyintjaku - Keeping Our Country Strong
Barbara Mbitjana Moore is a proud Anmatyerre woman originally from the Ti Tree (Tea Tree) community, 190 kilometres north of Alice Springs in Central Australia. Her mother was born at Laramba, a tiny settlement near the Tanami track to the west of the Stuart Highway, and her father was from Ti Tree; the Anmatyerre people are well known for their art practice world-wide with famous artists like Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri from Laramba and Emily Kame Kngwarreye from the area just south of Ti Tree.
Moore grew up in Ti Tree but moved to Amata in the APY lands of South Australia with her husband more than 20 years ago. She commenced painting at Tjala art centre (formerly Minymaku) in 2003. Now widowed, Moore is an active member of the Amata community and an integral member of the Tjala group of artists.
Recognised for her formidable command of paint on large-scale canvases, Moore uses bold designs and intense colour to represent variations in the landscape; powerful paintings depicting a bird’s eye perspective of her beloved Anmatyerre country and memories of place. Moore upholds the importance of keeping country and culture strong, and passing on cultural practice and knowledge to younger generations.
Winner of the prestigious General Painting Prize at the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2012, Moore has since been a NATSIAA finalist in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, as well as being a finalist in the Wynne Prize in 2017 and 2019. Her work features in numerous prominent collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; and Artbank Australia.
Most recently Moore was a recipient of the coveted Australia Council Artist Residency at Kluge-Ruhe in Charlottesville, USA, which coincided with her first solo exhibition Ngayulu Nguraku Ninti|the Country I Know and the completion of a large-scale mural on the walls of the gallery.