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Hear artist Charlotte Phillipus Napurrula and curator Vivien Johnson talk about the work in the RMIT Gallery exhibition Streets of Papunya: The reinvention of Papunya painting.
Streets of Papunya: The reinvention of Papunya painting at RMIT Gallery (6 May - 11 June 2016) celebrates the renaissance of painting that has occurred in one of the best-known locations of art production in Central Australia, since the establishment of the Papunya Tjupi Arts Centre in the Northern Territory in 2007. In particular, the exhibition reveals the remarkable art of the second generation women in Papunya.
Streets of Papunya includes some of the first women painters in the desert, who joined the original Papunya art movement in the early 1980s, and the daughters of many of the ground-breaking Papunya Tula artists of the 1970s.
Charlotte Phillipus Napurrula, a painter and executive member of the Papunya Tjupi Arts Centre, will be travelling to Melbourne for the opening of the Streets of Papunya exhibition at RMIT Gallery, and will speak about the work in the exhibition along with curator Vivien Johnson in this floor talk.
Artist Charlotte Phillipus Napurrula
Charlotte Phillipus Napurrula is a painter and executive member of the Papunya Tjupi Arts Centre, in Papunya, NT. She was Chairperson of Papunya Tjupi Arts Centre from 2010-14.
She is the eldest daughter of Long Jack Phillipus Tjakamarra, one of the founders of the desert art movement and one time Chairman of Papunya Tula Artists. Her mother was Long Jack’s first wife Suzette Napaltjarri, who was the daughter of important Pintupi elder Kamutu, one of the earliest Pintupi arrivals in Hermannsburg from the west.
For a long time Charlotte was active in various teaching roles in Papunya School, especially the preschool. Although she has stepped back because of her health, she continues her commitment to education and cultural maintenance through her involvement as a language consultant on the 4th Edition of Ken Hansen’s Pintupi/Luritja Dictionary.
Charlotte learnt to paint by assisting her father Long Jack on his canvases, but was busy with her teaching commitments and did not paint herself for Warumpi Arts in the 1990s and early 2000s. She has been a member of Papunya Tjupi Arts since its inception.
Curator Vivien Johnson
Western Desert art expert Vivien Johnson a sociologist, writer on Indigenous Australian art, and editor-inchief of the Dictionary of Australian Artists. She was one of the first to advocate recognition of Papunya painting as contemporary art and the moral and cultural rights of Indigenous artists. Her strong bonds with the people of Papunya date back to her first visit there in 1980, and continue with the Papunya Tjupi Arts Centre she helped them establish in 2007.
Registration and bookings
RMIT Gallery is located at 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne, near the corner of Swanston and La Trobe Streets (Melways reference: 1A J4).
The gallery is located diagonally opposite Melbourne Central Railway Station and can be reached by trams traveling on Swanston and La Trobe Streets, including the City Circle Tram.
Limited street parking is available.