Keith Stevens | Artist Profile

Details of Keith Stevens

About

Keith Stevens is a senior Pitjantjatjara man born in the far north of South Australia at Granite Downs where his parents were working in the 1940's. Following in his parents footsteps, he was mustering at an early age and had no schooling until moving to Pukatja (Ernabella) as a young boy where he attended the mission school. Keith's family would travel for weekends to their traditional homelands of Piltati and Iwarrawarra. Keith's father eventually sat down with his family close to Piltati creek at what is now Nyapari Community. Keith is a respected senior man in traditional law and a strong community leader.

"Today Keith is a man of both worlds. A highly respected traditional law man and a skilled painter of the tjukurpa in the modern medium of acrylics. His careful application of thick rich colour in intricate patterning creates a three dimensional moulded topography of the Piltati plateau and gully. Colour floods the landforms with the static tension of the Tjukurpa creation energy metamorphosed into rocky and sandy creek bed. Finely drawn ancient motifs float on the painted ground. Traces of ancestral camps, footprints, spears and digging sticks. Energetic marks of the Tjukurpa recoding the story of creation." Diana James

Keith's highly distinctive red textured fields of colour evoke an ancient landscape, the country of the Tjukurpa. His intimate knowledge of his country is referenced in his works with important landmarks depicted across his canvases. These are dynamic works that have a magical quality which sing out and touch the viewer.

Keith comes from an artistic family, his mother Eileen Yaritja Stevens (dec) and his uncles Tiger Palpatja and Ginger Wikilyiri are well-known for their depictions of Piltati the ancestral story for Nyapari. Keith also paints the Tjukurpa of his traditional land Piltati.

'Nyapari ngura ka Piltati ngura. Minyma kutjara nyinanyi waruangka. Kangkuru ini Wanyinta ka malanypa ini Alartjatjarra. Tjana Maliluku untalpa. Wati kutjara nyangatja, tjukupa minymaku ngura minyma kutjara, minyma tjukurpa unngu. Tjana mukaringkula kilinangkupai maiku kukaka mukuringkula. Palumpa ngura ngara palulanguru tjana ankupai maiku kukaka mantjintjikitatja. Tjana wana katipai munu wira tjawantjakitjaku munu tjana katipai waru tjangi. Painta nyangatja Piltatiku tjukurpa. This is country for Nyapari and Piltati. The two women from Piltati are sitting by their fire. The elder sister is Wanyinta and the younger one is Alartjatjarra, These are Malilu's daughters. This is Piltati. There are two men here and two women. The story is underground. If people want meat or bush tucker they go to this place and clean around and talk to the area. From here those two women would go out and collect their food. They would carry a digging stick and collecting bowl and also a fire stick. This is the Piltati story'

Keith is receiving high acclaim for his works and is represented in major private and public collections including the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria.

MEDIUM
Acrylic on Canvas
Screenprint

THEMES
Piltati, Wnampi Tjukurpa (Serpent Man Creation Story)
Iwawawara
Wati Ngintaka (Perentie Lizard Man)
Wati Mamu (Evil Spirit Man)

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2011 - Tjungu Palya 2011, Short St Gallery, Broome, WA
2010 - 'Keith Stevens Solo', Short St Gallery, Broome, WA

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2017 - PALYA: NYAPARI NOW, Short St Gallery, Broome WA
2017 - ‘Ngayulu Mantangka Walkatjunanyi’ Outstation Gallery Darwin.
2017 - Walkatjunanyi Inmaku, Redot Gallery, Singapore.
2017 - Bruxelles, Belgium - Group Exhibition « Empreintes Eternelles » at the Aboriginal Signature • Estrangingallery
2016 - Nganampa Kililpil: Our Stars, Sydney, NSW.
2016 - Good Together, Short St Gallery, Broome, WA
2015 - Desert Mob, Araluen Gallery, Alice Springs, NT
2015 - 32nd Telstra NATSIAA, Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, NT
2014 - 'Papa Ipi Tjurrkapa' (Dog Dreaming) Short St Gallery, Broome WA
2014 - Salon Des Refuse, Darwin, NT
2014 - The Alice Prize, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, NT
2014 - Tjukutjuku walka walka walka walka walka pulka tjurkurpa, Outstation, Darwin, NT
2013 - APY Lands Survey Exhibition, Outstation Gallery, Darwin, NT
2013 - Tjungu Palya, Marshall Arts, Adelaide, SA
2013 - New Paintings Chapman Gallery, Canberra, ACT
2013 - Desert Mob 2013 Araluen Gallery, Alice Springs, NT
2013 - Tjintu Kutjupa Tjintu Kutupa - Desert Days, Reddot Gallery, Singapore
2013 - Shalom Gamarada Art fair Woollahra, Sydney, NSW
2013 - Tjukurpa Wangka: Storytellers, Short St Gallery, Broome, WA.
2012 - Tjungu Kutju-tu: Together as One, Aboriginal and Pacific Art, Sydney
2012 - Deadly- In Between Heaven and Hell, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide, SA
2012 - ‘Tjungu Palya Tjukurpa’ – Chapman Gallery, Canberra, ACT
2012 - Uwankara kurunpa kutju-tjara - Our People, One Soul, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2012 - Desert Mob 2012 Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs
2012 - Tjungu Palya 2012, Outstation Gallery, Darwin, NT
2011 - Watiku Tjukurpa Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne VIC
2011 - Tjungu Palya Tjukurpa Aboriginal and Pacific Arts. Sydney, NSW
2011 - Tjukurpa Manta Raft Artspace, Alice Springs, NT
2011 - Living Water National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, VIC
2011 - 'Tjungu Palya 2011', Short St Gallery, Broome, WA
2011 - 'Western APY Lands', ArtKelch, Freiburg, Germany
2011 - 'Ngura Tjukuritja - A Dreaming Place', Marshall Arts, Adelaide, SA
2011 - 'Tjungu Palya - Masterpieces', Chapman Gallery, Canberra, ACT
2010 - 'Tjunga Palya Survey Exhibitions', Short St Gallery, Broome, WA
2010 - 'Etched in the Sun - Prints by Indigenous Australians' with Basil Hall Editions, Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA
2009 - 'Survey of Prints', Nomad Gallery, Darwin, NT
2009 - 'Etched in the Sun' with Basil Hall Editions and Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, England
2009 - 'Alwara-wara - Side by Side' Outstation Gallery, Darwin, NT
2009 - 'Kulini Ngura - KNowing Country', Short St Gallery, Broome, WA
2008 - 'Desert Mob', Araluen, Alice Springs, NT
2008 - 'South Australian Impressions', Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide, SA
2008 - 'Iwara Mantangka - Land Lines', Randell Lane Fine Art, Perth, WA
2008 - 'Our Mob', Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide, SA
2007 - 'Piltati', Marshall Arts, Adelaide, SA
2006 - 'Tjukurpa Mantatja', Randell Lane Fine Art, Perth, WA
2006 - 'Nganampa Tjukurpa Nganampa Ngura', Marshall Arts, Adelaide, SA
2005 - 'New Works from the APY Lands', South Australia Museum, Adelaide, SA

COLLECTIONS
Australian War Memorial
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, SA
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, VIC
Artbank, Australian Government National Contemporary Art Rental
Arthur Roe Collection, Melbourne, VIC
W & W McGeoch Collection, Melbourne, VIC
The Lepley Collection, Perth, WA

BIBLIOGRPAHIES
2012 - Cover of 'Articulate: Art Gallery of SouthAustralia', Issue no.7 Winter 2012
2012 - Nici Cumpston. 'New to the Collection' Articulate: Art Gallery of South Australia, Issue no.7 Winter 2012, pg32-33
2012 - Croft, Brenda. 'Cultural Efflores(s)ence' Deadly: In Between Heaven and Hell catalogue, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide 2012
2011 - Browning, Daniel. 'Living Water' Awaye, RadioNational. 4th June 2011. www.abc.net.au/awaye/stories/2011/3234872.htm
2010 - James, Dianna, 'Colour comes up from the ground', Outstation catalogue, Darwin
2009 - Imprint, Winter 2009, Cover image, Wati Ngintaka Munu Anamara 2008/9, multi plate etching
2009 - Hall, Basil. 'Etched in the Sun' - Prints made by Indigenous artists with Basil Hall, Imprint, Winter 2009, Vol. 44, p. 24-25
2009 - Cruthers, John. 'Tjukurpa Mantataja - Stories from the Land', Australian Aboriginal Art, Issue 1, March 2009

AWARDS
2015 - Finalist 2015 Telstra National AboriginalTorres Straight Islander Art Awards
2011 - Finalist Togart Art Award

Artworks of Keith Stevens