Anmanari Brown | Artist Profile

Details of Anmanari Brown


Anmanari Brown is a senior Pitjantjatjara artist who was born at Purpurnga, a rock hole in the Great Victoria Desert in the early 1930’s. Purpurnga is the sacred country of the Wanampi (water snake man) from Pukara.
She lived a traditional nomadic way of life in the bush with her family without European contact until they walked into Warburton mission when she was a young girl of about 10-12 years of age. She spent many years at Milyirrtjarra (Warburton) and it was there that she met her husband, Jackie Bell-Rock Brown. She became the third wife of Jackie (a common traditional practice) and they all moved east from the mission to country around Papulankutja and Irrunytju before settling at Amata in the 1960’s. After some time at Amata they moved back west closer to their traditional country. Together they had eight children. Jackie Bell Rock Brown passed away in 1999 at Papulankutja and Anmanari and her daughters (her son was living at Tjuntjuntjara) moved to Irrunytju. She remarried at Irrunytju in her senior years to Nyakul Dawson, also an established artist.

Her traditional homelands are located in the Great Victoria Desert, centrally between the present day community settlements of Papulankutja (Blackstone), Irrunytju (Wingellina) and Tjuntjuntjara (Spinifex). She has lived in all three communities residing at Blackstone for the past five years where she has been a key member of Papulankutja Artists. She returned to Tjuntjuntjara in 2012 where she lives today with her daughters and extended family and works for both Spinifex and Papulankutja.

Anmanari was one of a small group of pioneering artists who established Irrunytju in 2000. This inspired the conversion of women’s craft rooms into fine art studios across the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yangkunytjatjara Lands as Anangu, both men and women enthusiastically took to painting.

Anmanari Brown is a highly respected law woman and senior Pitjantjatjara artist, who paints Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters) Tjukurpa associated with Kuru Ala and surrounding country. This Tjukurpa, also known as Minyma Tjuta (Many Women) is an epic songline, which traverses vast tracts of the desert. Like all such stories of country and law there are many layers from the sacred to secular depending on the status of the listener according to Anangu Law. In this Tjukurpa the sisters are travelling across the desert all the time being perused by Wati Nyiiru a lustful old man who is trying to get the older sister for his wife. They don’t want this old man and are frightened by his sinister and relentless tracking of them. This man is a creation being and thus has magical powers. As a shape shifter he transforms himself into plants and animals in order to deceive the women and get close enough to steal Kampukurtja (the eldest sister) from them.

Drawing on ancient tradition Anmanari's works are bold and powerful abstractions of country, visual maps tracing the journeying of the ancestor beings and the land formations they created through their activities. Her recent works have moved away from any figurative representation found in her early works to broad brush strokes of colour; circles (representing water holes and or the women) and patterned lines (representing ceremonial dancing and travelling sand tracks).

Anmanari’s is a leading artist in the Spinifex, Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara Lands whose work is held in high esteem. Her works are in many important national and international collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of Western Australia, and Queensland Art Gallery.

In 2012 a work by Anmanari was commissioned by the Tapestry Foundation of Australia as part of the Embassy Collection series, a program which places ATW tapestries in missions throughout the world. Like many of the senior artists, in addition to painting, Anmanari works in other art forms especially punu (carving of utilitarian and sacred objects), weaving tjanpi baskets and inma.

Solo Exhibitions

2010 Anmanari Brown and Tjayanka Woods: Kungkarrakalpa – The Seven Sisters, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne VIC

Group Exhibitions

2017 'Spinifex' Short Street Gallery, Broome, Western Australia.
2014 'Tjuntjuntjara- recent works from Spinifex Country' Shorts St Gallery, Broome, Western Australia
2014 'Pila- Spinifex Land' Outstation Gallery, Parap, Darwin. NT.
2013 'New Paintings from Irrunytju' Art Place, Perth, WA. (Irrunytju Arts)
2013 'DesertMob' Araluen Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T.
2013 'Spinifex Arts Project' ArtKelch, Freiburg, Munich, Hamburg, Bodensee, Lake Constance, Germany
2011 'Living Water: Contemporary Art of the Far Western Desert', National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, VIC.
2011 'Uwankara – Whole Lot of Everything: Paintings from the APY/NPY Lands and Spinifex Country 2002 – 2011', Vivien Anderson Gallery, Mlebourne, VIC. (Papulankutja Artists)
2010 'These Are Our Stories - Papulankutja Artists', Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane, QLD. (Papulankutja Artists)
2010 'Paint Right Way', Chapman Gallery, Canberra ACT (Papulankutja Artists)
2006 'Western Desert Satellites', Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth WA (Irrunytju Arts)
2006 'Irrunytju Arts: Senior artists from Irrunytju WA', Raft Artspace, Darwin, NT. (Irrunytju Arts)
2006 'Tjukurpa Mulapa: True Story – Senior Irrunytju Artists', Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne. Vic. (Irrunytju Arts)
2006 'Irrunytju Tjukurpa: senior Artists', Aboriginal and Pacific Art Gallery, Sydney NSW. (Irrunytju Arts)
2005 'The Women’s Show', Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne, Vic. (Irrunytju Arts)
2005 'Minyma Tjuta: Senior Irrunytju Women', Aboriginal and Pacific Art Gallery, Sydney NSW. (Irrunytju Arts)
2005 'Ngayuku Ngura – My Country' Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne VIC. (Irrunytju Arts)
2004 'Colour Power: Aboriginal Art post 1984', National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, VIC. (Irrunytju Arts)
2003 'The Women’s Show', Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne. Vic. (Irrunytju Arts)
2003 'Senior Women of the Irrunytju Community: Minyma Pampaku Tjukurpa Kunpu Kanyintjaka (Women's culture - Standing strong)', Artplace, Perth WA. (Irrunytju Arts)
2003 'Irrunytju Art Auction', Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne; Cromwells Auctioneers, Sydney. NSW (Irrunytju Arts)
2002 'Nganampa Tjukurpa Kunpu, Nganampa Tjukurpa Mulapa, (Our Stories are Strong, Our Stories are True)', Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne, Vic. (Irrunytju Arts)
2002 'Boundless', Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth WA in association with Country Arts, WA. (Irrunytju Arts)
2001 'Minyma Pampa Tjukurpa (Stories from the old women)', Artplace, Perth WA (Irrunytju Arts)


National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Vic.
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, WA
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, QLD.
City of Joondalup Council, joondalup, WA.
Wagner Collection, USA.
The Largerberg-Swift Collection, Perth, WA.
The Lepley Collection, Perth, WA
The Corrigan Collection.


2011 Tapestry Commission, Australian Tapestry Workshop, Victoria. (Papulankutja Artists).


2012 Raffan,J. Power + Colour: New Painting from the Corrigan Collection of 21st Century Aboriginal Art, MacMillan Art Publishing, Melbourne, 2012
2010 Knights, M. 2010, Anmanari Brown & Tjayanka Woods: Kungkarrakalpa – The Seven Sisters (exh. cat.), Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne
2008 McCulloch,S. McCulloch's Contemporary Aboriginal Art: The Complete Guide, mcCulloch and mcCulloch Australian Art Books, Fitzroy, Vic.
2006 Knights, M. Irrunytju Arts, Irrrunytju Arts, Wingellina, WA.
2004 Ryan,J. Colour Power - Aboriginal Art Post 1984 in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Vic.

Artworks of Anmanari Brown

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