We are pleased to present this important series of ceramics pieces by Tjunkaya Tapaya OAM, alongside her works on paper, as part of the Together we tell our stories bi-annual Indigenous exhibition series.
Tjungkaya Tapaya OAM works across painting, printmaking, ceramics and fibre based work. Her practice is often collaborative, and she works as a member of the Tjanpi Desert Weavers, creating innovative fibre art and woven works. Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a not-for-profit Indigenous social enterprise of the NPY Women’s Council, a resource, advocacy and support organisation for Aboriginal women living in remote communities across the western and central deserts. It was created out of a need for meaningful and culturally appropriate employment and to enable women to earn a regular income from selling their fibre art.
Tjanpi (meaning ‘grass’) supports the production and marketing of baskets, sculptures and seed jewellery made by more than 400 artists from 28 remote communities and builds on a long tradition of working with natural fibres to create objects for daily and ceremonial use. Aboriginal women regularly come together on country to collect grass, sculpt and weave, sing and dance and keep culture strong while creating beautiful, intricate and expressive fibre art.
Tapaya has exhibited widely in Australia and overseas since 1971. Her first solo exhibition Nintintjaku – teaching, showing, passing on, was held at Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne in 2012. Group exhibitions include Obsessed: Compelled to make, Australian Design Centre, Sydney (2018 and touring nationally 2018-21); Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters, National Museum of Australia, Canberra (2017-18); MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2016); String Theory: Focus on Contemporary Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2013 and touring nationally 2013-15); and the 29th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin (2012).
Tapaya’s work is held in a number of public collections including the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; National Museum of Australia, Canberra; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane and the British Museum, London.
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