Fred Grant | Artist Profile

Details of Fred Grant

About

Fred Grant was born in north eastern Spinifex at Ukatjatjara. Like his brother, Ned Grant, Fred went in to Cundeelee Mission a segregated bush boy (nyiingka) whose initiation into Men’s Law had been delayed because of the enduring drought at the time and the disturbance of traditional life by the Maralinga atomic testing and the rocket testing out of Woomera. Fred subsequently went ‘through’ the Law with older brother and ngalungku (contemporary initiate), Ned, in the ranges north of Laverton. Fred remained single in his younger years before marrying his life partner, Carlene West, from Tjitjiti.

As well as being one of the main ceremonial leaders for the Tjintu (sun side), Fred is a renowned singer. In 2003/4 Fred and ten other Spinifex singers and actors performed in the play “The Career Highlights of the Mamu” (spirit-monster). “Mamu” was a musical drama produced and directed by Black Swan Theatre in Perth portraying the history of the Spinifex people from the time of the Maralinga Tests to the return to country. The company was invited to Hamburg, Germany, in August 2003 to perform at the Hamburg Summer Festival of Arts.

With his extraordinary knowledge of Spinifex tjukurpa and its myriad of inherent song lines Fred has taken on the role of director on most of the men’s collaboratives. Although his own works are locality specific they give the impression of covering broad swathes of country. For example, Fred’s immaculately composed work, Pirilyi 2012, could be interpreted as a subtler version of the men’s (or women’s) 1997 native title paintings.

Medium

Acrylic on linen and canvas
Master traditional spear maker
Wooden artefacts

Group Exhibitions

2017 'Spinifex' Short Street Gallery, Broome, Western Australia
2016 'Pila Nguratja - In Spinifex Country' Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne 2016 Rawa Nyinanyi- Unbroken. Outstation Gallery, Darwin. N.T.
2016 Exposition Spinifex Arts Project, Aboriginal Signature Estrangin Fine Art, Belgium
2016 Tjungutja – Art of the Spinifex Collaborative, Redot Fine Art Gallery, Singapore
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 WA
2014 Pila- Spinifex Land Outstation Gallery, Parap, Darwin, NT
2014 DesertMob Araluen Gallery, Alice Springs, NT
2014 Tjuntjuntjara, Short St Gallery, Broome WA
2014 'Spinifex Tjukurpa' ReDot Gallery, Singapore.
2014 'Spinifex Arts Project 2014', Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne, VIC.
2013 'DesertMob' Araluen Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T.
2013 'The Wild Ones' Raft Artplace, Alice Springs, N.T. (Men's Collaborative)
2013 'Spinifex Arts Project' ArtKelch,Freiburg,Munich,Hamburg, Bodensee, Lake Constance, Germany.
2013 '30th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Art Award' (Men's Collaborative). Museums and Art Gallery NT. Darwin.
2013 'Kuwaritja - New Works of the Spinifex People' Outstation Gallery, Darwin, Northern Territory.
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
2011 'Spinifex Artists', Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2011 'Living Water- Contemporary Art of the Far Western Desert', National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, VIC.
2010 'Spinifex Arts Project 2010', Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne, VIC.
2010 'Spinifex Artists', Japingka Gallery, Fremantle, WA.
2010 'Desert Mob, Araluen Galleries', Alice Springs, NT.
2009 'Tracking the Wati Kutjara' Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney, N.S.W.
2009 'Spinifex Artists 2009' Japingka Gallery, Fremantle, W.A.
2009 'Desert Mob' Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, N.T.
2009 Walka Putitja, Short St Gallery, Broome WA
2009 'Spinifex Artists' Ab-Original Gallery, Austria.
2008 'Spinifex Artists Recent Work' Short St Gallery, Broome, W.A.
2008 'Desert Mob' Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, NT.
2008 'Kapi Ninti: Knowing Water Knowing Country, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne
2007 'Best of the Best' Framed Gallery Darwin, N.T.
2007 'Desert Mob' Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, N.T.
2007 Seattle Arts Museum, Seattle
2007 'New Spinifex Works' Short St Gallery, Broome, W.A.
2007 'Ten Years On' Japingka Gallery, Fremantle, W.A.
2006 'Desert Mob' Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, N.T.
2006 'Spinifex - New Works' Marshall Arts, Adelaide, S.A.
2006 'Art of the Spinifex People' Japingka Gallery, Perth, W.A.
2005 'Desert Mob' Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, N.T.
2005 'Law and Land' Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
2005 'Spinifex Artists' Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, England.
2005 'Spinifex Mob' Coo-ee Arts, Sydney, N.S.W.
2004 'Spinifex Arts Project' Harbour House Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland.
2004 'Colour Power - Aboriginal Art post 1984' National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Vic.
2003 'Spinifex Paintings' Raintree Gallery, Darwin, N.T.
2003 'Spinifex Arts Project 2003' Span Galleries, Melbourne, Vic.
2002 'Putitja Nguru - Art of the Spinifex People' Japingka Gallery, Fremantle, W.A.
2002 'Native Title Business – Contemporary Indigenous Art', Australian national tour
2001 Broken Hill City Regional Art Gallery, Broken Hill, N.S.W. 2001 'Spiral Arm Gallery, Canberra. A.C.T.
2001 'All About Art' Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Vic.
2001 Pila Nguru - Art and Song of the Spinifex People' Western Australian Museum, Perth, W.A and national tour.
2001 Flinders Arts Museum, Adelaide, S.A. 2000 Pila Nguru

Collections

Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia (Men's Collaborative)
Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, QLD
The Art Gallery of New South Whales, Sydney, NSW
W. & V. McGeoch Collection, Melbourne
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA. (Men's Collaborative)
The Lepley Collection, Perth, Western Australia.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT (Men's Collaborative)
The Corrigan Collection, Australia (Men's Collaborative)
Harriett & Richard England Collection

Awards

2013 Finalist 30th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Art Award (Men's Collaborative)
2008 Finalist:WA Indigenous Art Awards, Perth, W.A. (Men's Collaborative)

Bibliographies

2013 Rothwell, Nicolas. “Dilemma of difference in indigenous art awards”, The Australian August 13, 2013
2013 Butler, M. Dean,Bently.'First Footprints' Episode 2. The Great Drought; 30,000 To 15,000 Years Ago. Contact Films Pty Ltd. NSW, Australia
2012 Allerton, L., Rothwell, N. & McLean, I. 2012, Tupun Nguranguru – People of the Sandhill Country: Spinifex Arts Project 15th Anniversary exhibition, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne VIC
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.
2010 Vivien Anderson Gallery 2010, Australian Contemporary Indigenous Art Now (exh. cat.), Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne VIC
2008 McCulloch Childs, E. New Beginnings: Classic Paintings from the Corrigan Collection of 21st Century Aboriginal Art, McCulloch and McCulloch, Melbourne.
2008 Vivien Anderson Gallery, 2008, Kapi Ninti – Knowing Water Knowing Country, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne VIC
2008 Art Gallery of Western Australia, 'Western Australia Indigenous Art Awards 2008' Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, W.A.
2002 Cane,S. 'Pila Nguru: The Spinifex People', Fremantle Arts Centre Press, Fremantle, WA.

Artworks of Fred Grant