previous Exhibitions

Shirley Macnamara - Yesterday

30-Mar-2022 - 22-Apr-2022
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EXHIBITION OPEN DAY | Saturday 2 April 2022, 2pm - 4pm  RSVP at art@alcastongallery.com.au

Alcaston Gallery is thrilled to present a collection of sculptural artworks including guutu, woven laga bags and delicate headpieces by the highly celebrated artist, Shirley Macnamara.

Macnamara's sculptures are a unique expression of her Country, created from the natural materials that she encounters while out mustering throughout Spinifex Country, a region named for the resilient stringy grass that envelops the landscape. Macnamara's guutu, a traditional word meaning ‘a vessel that can carry things’ are highly contemporary artworks that not only reflect the artist's rich life experiences on Country but also honour cultural resonances from the past, symbolically carrying the traditions of her mother and ancestors before her. Woven from spinifex and lined with varying shades of ochres, each guutu recalls the Country from which it was formed; with the natural features of the land wielding a powerful aesthetic and cultural influence on the design of each piece.  

Similarly, Macnamara’s hand sculptured dillybags, known as laga bags, draw upon Macnamara's memories of the dillybags made by her grandmothers and aunties. Imbued with a deep sense of self, these creations reveal who Macnamara's family were and how they lived. In turn, Macnamara’s laga bags offer a contemplation of the artist’s own sense of self, and her deep relationship with her land, woven from spinifex and lined with ochre, feathers, quills and collected objects.

Presented together this installation of sculptures is an evocative representation of the harsh, dry, yet beautiful region of her traditional Indjalandji Country surrounding Camooweal and her home on Mt Guide in far north-west Queensland; a delicate and refined collection that can only be truly appreciated in person. Macnamara's artworks are poetic objects of immense beauty and poignancy; alluding to memory, family, and Country. 

 

Highly revered for her practice, Macnamara is a multiple award finalist and regular institutional exhibitor. In 2019-2020 the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane held a major solo retrospective of Macnamara's works entitled Shirley Macnamara - Dyinala Nganinya with a comprehensive publication to accompany the exhibition. Most recently, Macnamara's work has been included in a survey exhibition of contemporary art from the collection of the Australian War Memorial entitled, Art in Conflict, touring nationally from 2021-2023, and she will be presenting a large-scale work at the 2022 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair’s as a finalist of the inaugural Big Sculpture Showcase project. 

Macnamara's work is found in several major collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, the UQ Art Museum, Brisbane, the Australian War Memorial art collection, and the Cairns Art Gallery, Cairns, Queensland.

© Shirley Macnamara and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne 2022

Beverly Burton • Ngayuku Kamiku Ngura, Holding onto Grandmother’s Country

20-Jul-2022 - 05-Aug-2022
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Alcaston Gallery is thrilled to present Ngayuku Kamiku Ngura - Holding onto Grandmother’s Country, the first solo exhibition of new paintings and ceramic works by Beverly Burton at Alcaston Gallery, one of the most exciting and innovative emerging artists working today at Amata in the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands of far north-west South Australia.

Shirley Macnamara • Through the Gidgea and Gum Trees. Over Spinifex Ridges and Black Soil Plains - Major Commission for CIAF 2022

06-Jul-2022 - 06-Aug-2022
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Alcaston Gallery represented artist Shirley Macnamara recently presented the largest sculpture of her career at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair in 2022, as one of 18 leading Queensland Indigenous artists commissioned to present new work at CIAF's inaugural Big Sculpture Showcase.

Renowned for her artistic and sculptural expressions of Country, Macnamara creates objects such as guutu (an Indjalandji word meaning ‘a vessel to carry’), baskets and large installations that reflect forms in nature. Poetic objects of immense beauty and poignancy; her works are evocative representations of the harsh, dry, yet beautiful region of her traditional Indjalandji Country surrounding Camooweal and her home on Mt Guide in far north-west Queensland.

Macnamara’s most recent work, the large-scale sculpturThrough the Gidgea and Gum Trees. Over Spinifex Ridges and Black Soil Plains, takes the form of a large scale guutu. Entwined in horseshoes, horsehair, spinifex, ochre, steel and copper wire, this work is an embodiment of Macnamara’s relationship to the land - created from materials as entwined in this region as they are in Macnamara’s own history.

The catalogue for Through the Gidgea and Gum Trees. Over Spinifex Ridges and Black Soil Plains, including details of Macmanara’s process and purpose in creating this powerful work, the largest of her career to date, can be accessed here: SHIRLEY MACNAMARA • Through the Gidgea and Gum Trees. Over Spinifex Ridges and Black Soil Plains. 

 

Tiger Yaltangki - Let There Be Rock

15-Jun-2022 - 15-Jul-2022
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Alcaston Gallery is thrilled to present a new body of work by one of Australia’s most innovative and exciting contemporary artists, Tiger Yaltangki in his ninth solo exhibition, 'Let There Be Rock'.

Defined as one of Australia’s most idiosyncratic contemporary artists, leading Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands artist Tiger Yaltangki’s intersectional paintings merge influences and iconography from both inherited Aṉangu cultural knowledge and popular culture. In particular, Yaltangki revels in the vivacious artistic portrayal of late 1960s and 1970s rock music idols, science fiction characters and British mod-comedians; whimsical subjects who figuratively burst out of the canvas in an explosion of vibrant colour and electrifying energy. 

By aligning these two major creative influences – one purporting to deep cultural significance, the other alluding to the post-modern – Yaltangki offers a unique artistic perspective that embodies contemporary life in Australia today.

 

MARY KANNGI (C.1925 - 2005) - LIMITED RELEASE

25-May-2022 - 10-Jun-2022
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Alcaston Gallery presents a remarkable selection of paintings by the late Mary Kanngi (c.1925 - 2005)

Born in 1925 near the banks of the Moyle River in the Northern Territory, Kanngi and her family were among the first settlers of the Daly River Mission in the 1950s, in the region of Ngambu Ngambu (Peppimentarti). A master of colour and composition Kanngi has been likened to the "Northern Territory's Jackson Pollock" (The Guardian​​​​​​​, 2019), captivating the art world with her bold, highly gestural and expressive brushstrokes and a broad palette of startling colour.

Kanngi’s paintings depict her homeland of Ngambu Ngambu and the surrounding areas; her bold and expressive style evoking the lush billabongs, flora and fauna of her Country. With an innate sense of colour and design, Kanngi's style was unique and inimitable.

Following the artist's passing in 2005, Mary Kanngi has been remembered as an extraordinary artist with a determined spirit. This important suite of works, acquired over the course of Kanngi's artistic career from the Merrepen Art Centre, has been archived by Alcaston Gallery out of respect for the artist following her passing, until now. Alcaston Gallery is honoured to present this limited release in acknowledgement and respect of one of the Daly River region’s most influential artists.

Betty Kuntiwa Pumani - Kunpu Naranyi (Standing Strong)

18-May-2022 - 10-Jun-2022
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Alcaston Gallery is honoured to present a solo exhibition by acclaimed Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands artist Betty Kuntiwa Pumani.

Recognised as one of the most distinctive painters in Australian contemporary art working today, Pumani’s large scale visionary compositions depict her mother’s Country of Antara, a significant ceremonial site north-west of Mimili community in north west South Australia. 

An artist of sophistication and restraint, Pumani continues to paint using her refined and distinctive palette of cobalt blues, vibrant reds and shimmering cream and grey - intense and saturated colours that have become synonymous with her practice – yet in this new body of work Pumani explores innovative compositional techniques, utilising complex motifs and tonal variations, signalling an exciting artistic progression.  

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