Lawrence Pennington | Artist Profile

Details of Lawrence Pennington


At the time of Lawrence’s birth in the early 1930’s, his people, the Spinifex people had no contact with Western civilization.Lawrence grew up as a young boy living a fully traditional hunter-gatherer life. His initiations as a young man in this country have given Lawrence intimate knowledge in a physical as well as a spiritual sense of the sites and stories of the area he was born and responsible for.

He was born just outside of the north-eastern boundary of Spinifex at a place called Urlu circa 1934. Running through the length Lawrence’s stretch of country is the Walawuru (wedge-tailed eagle) Dreaming. Not surprisingly the dominant topographical feature in Lawrence’s country is a string of craggy topped breakaways. In parallel alignment off to the south run a series of thinly connected dry salt lakes and naturally underscoring these features reddish sand plains. Depending on the character of the light, Lawrence’s country can at different times appear hauntingly bleak or soaringly beautiful.

Like his contemporaries Lawrence was pulled in to Cundeelee Mission during the sweeps in the late 1950s. He came in a young Wati (initiated man), married late in Cundeelee and had one son. Lawrence painted in the early years, collaboratively and individually before leaving Tjuntjuntjara for about 7 years. He returned on a permanent basis when his son went through Men’sLaw at Tjuntjuntjara.

Solo Exhibitions

2016 Wati Wara, Redot Fine Art Gallery, Singapore

Group Exhibitions

2017 'Spinifex' Short Street Gallery, Broome, Western Australia
2017 Spinifex: Aboriginal Paintings from the Robert Kaplan and Margaret Levi Collection, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada, U.S.A.
2016 Pila Nguratja - In Spinifex Country Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne
2016 33rd Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Art Award (Mens Collaborative). Museums and Art Gallery NT.Darwin.
2016 Rawa Nyinanyi- Unbroken. Outstation Gallery, Darwin. N.T.
2016 Exposition Spinifex Arts Project, Aboriginal Signature Estrangin Fine Art, Belgium
2016 Purungu und Narrupa Sammlung, in association with P. & A. Klein and ArtKelch, Kunstwerk, Germany
2015 Spinifex Arts Project 2015, Aboriginal and Pacific Arts, Sydney, N.S.W.
2015 Tarnanthi - Festival of Comtemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. SA.
2015 Wo das Stachelkopfgras wachst, ArtKelch, Freibery, Germany
2015 Kulunypa- selected small works from the Spinifex Arts Project, Outstation Gallery, Darwin. N.T.
2014 Spinifex Artists, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle W.A
2014 Tjuntjuntjara Nguratja- Tjuntjuntjara is home Harvey Art Projects, Sun Valley, Idaho, USA
2014 Pila- Spinifex Land Outstation Gallery, Parap, Darwin. NT.
2014 DesertMob Araluen Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T.
2014 Tjuntjuntjara, Short St Gallery, Broome, WA
2014 'Spinifex Tjukurpa' ReDot Gallery, Singapore.
2014 'Spinifex Arts Project 2014', Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne, VIC.
2013 Salon des Refuses', Outstation and Paul Johnstone Galleries in the Old bank building Smith and Bennet st Darwin, Darwin, N.T. (Men's Collaborative).
2013 'DesertMob' Araluen Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T.
2013 'The Wild Ones' Raft Artplace, Alice Springs, N.T.
2013 'Kuwaritja - New Works of the Spinifex People' Outstation Gallery, Darwin, Northern Territory.
2013 'Spinifex Arts Project' ArtKelch, Freiburg, Munich, Hamburg, Bodensee, Lake Constance, Germany.
2012 'Tupun Nguranguru – People of the Sandhill Country' 45 Downstairs Gallery, Vivien Anderson, Melbourne.
2012 'Spinifex - People of the Sun and Shadow' John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia
2005 'Law and Land' Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
2002 'Putitja Nguru - Art of the Spinifex People' Japingka Gallery, Fremantle, W.A.
2001 Broken Hill City Regional Art Gallery, Broken Hill, N.S.W.
2001 Flinders Arts Museum, Adelaide, S.A.
2001 'All About Art' Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Vic.
2000 'Pila Nguru - Art and Song of the Spinifex People' Western Australian Museum, Perth, W.A and national tour.


2016 Finalist (Men's Collaborative) 33rd Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museums and Art Galleries, Darwin, N.T


The Art Gallery of New South Whales, Sydney, NSW (Men's Collaborative)
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, SA (Men's Collaborative)
The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Vic.
Wagner and Owen Collection (USA)
Richard and Harriet England Collection
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA. (Men's Collaborative)
W. & V. McGeoch Collection
The Corrigan Collection, Australia (Men's Collaborative)
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT (Men's Collaborative)
Araluen Gallery, Alice Springs, Northern Territory.


2016 Castillo, Greg. "Wati Wara - Lawrence Pennington Solo" Catalogue, Redot Fine Arts Gallery, April
2015 Carty, John. Cumpston, Nici. "Tarnanthi - Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art"Catalogue. Art Gallery of S.A.
2015 Castillo, Greg. "Spinifex People as Cold War Moderns", Contemporaneity, Department of History of Art & Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh.
2013 Rothwell, Nicolas. “Dilemma of difference in indigenous art awards”, The Australian August 13, 2013
2012 Hacket, J. Forrest, S. Malcolm, C. Cane, S. Carty, J. Lane, C. Cruthers, J. Chadwick, R. Allerton, L.'Spinifex: People of the Sun and Shadow' (exh. cat) John Curtin Gallery, Perth. W. A.
2012 Jorgensen, D.J. 2012, 'No Place Without Other Places: Spinifex Arts Project at fifteen years', ARTLINK: Australian contemporary art quarterly, 32, 2, pp. 86-87.
2012 Rothwell, Nicolas. "Paintings of lifetimes in the desert" The Australian, August 6th 2012.
2008 McCulloch Childs, E. New Beginnings: Classic Paintings from the Corrigan Collection of 21st Century Aboriginal Art, McCulloch and McCulloch, Melbourne.
2002 Cane,S. 'Pila Nguru: The Spinifex People', Fremantle Arts Centre Press, Fremantle, WA.

Artworks of Lawrence Pennington

    This artist currently has no artworks for sale, please view some recent sold works below.