Current and Past Exhibitions

Eight years ago Lydia Balbal walked into the Yulparitja studio and announced it was time for her to paint. Filled with sass and confidence she proceeded to launch into her painting journey with purpose and poise. Balbal's early works showed perceivable layers filled with tracks, creation serpents and waterholes. Her later works hide the layers, though they are still there amongst a dense layering of soft paint tonally built up over time, announcing Lydia as a natural born artist. Years on Balbal's initial call in a 2012 interview rings true to her spirit, 'I know I am the best. Because I am a bush woman, I grew up there. In the bush'. Her newest offerings play with the shimmer of the desert, mimicking the colour, light and the beauty of her country. The sense of space and the vastness of her land is evident. As she has said, 'I am painting underground. What's underground, upside down. Rocks, waterholes, lines beneath the sand dunes'. The layers and tonality is expert, hiding the land she grew up in and paints so well. The country of her youth swathed in beauty. Opens 16 November 2017.
This exhibition is a celebration of the Mamirnikiwi Jilamara (women's business Jilamara) and the strong women from Milikapiti who keep traditional Tiwi culture alive and strong. The exhibition brings together 14 women from across multiple generations to showcase their innovative contemporary work practice or jilamara. Jilamara roughly translates to 'design', with each jilamara passed on by family and each artist developing their own jilamara. The artists draw inspiration from family jilamara, traditional ceremony, body paint and scarification designs (minga). Painting on linen, canvas and paper for this exhibition, the tiwi artists only use four colours black, white, yellow and red all made from ochre collected from the Milikapiti surrounds. The resultant works are full of energy and a subtle power, bound to a strong sense of design and form. Join us and the Jilamara artists to celebrate the opening of the exhibition on Thursday 19 October, 6pm, all welcome.
Palya translates to good, but the artists from Nyapari surpass such adjectives. Their artwork is informed from a strong cultural tradition and artistic practice and an incomparable intimacy with the desert landscape. It transforms the viewer's understanding of this extraordinary country. These works are more than landscape paintings, they are visual narratives imbued with history, law and song. Ginger Wikilyiri and Keith Steven's intricate and dense painting techniques create an almost orchestral crescendo that embodies the vastness and harshness of this terrain. They highlight the delicate grace of its gifts, the water, the food and the history that can never be taken for granted in such an extreme climate. Then there is the effortless movement and colour of Ruth Fatt and Helen Curtis which contrasts to the composition and intent of Bernard Tjalkuri and the Tunkin's. Lastly we come to the explosive power of Beryl Jimmy and the Watarru Collaborative. The exhibition shows the best of the Nyapari artists skill and perception. The artwork in this exhibition speaks for itself - it is Palya, Palya, Palya (good, good, good). Opens Thursday 21 September.
Short St Gallery presents Kurunitja - Spirited, an exhibition of new paintings and ceramics by Ernabella’s leading artists, including Pepai Jangala Carroll, Yurpiya Lionel and Rachael Mipantjiti Lionel. The artists have created an impressive body of new work that depicts stories of country, culture and faith. The artworks capture the gentle strength of country and spirit, as the artists look for ways to express the intangible. Rachael Mipantjiti Lionel paints stories and messages she receives through her dreams, Pepai Jangala Carroll and Rupert Jack depict sites of memory, rising stars Langaliki Lewis and Janice Matjala Stanley aim to capture the light, wind and stormy skies of their powerful country. In the words of Rachel Mipantjiti Lionel, 'This work has spirit, kurunpa. But it is also strong. It is not only what we see with our kuru, our eyes, but what we feel in our hearts, our spirit and what we hold onto inside. We are painting feeling.' Join us in celebrating this engaging exhibition. Opens 24 August 2017, all welcome.
Short St Gallery presents Spinifex Ascendent showcasing the strength, tenacity and deep immersion in country that is the Spinifex Art Project. Hailing from Tjuntjuntjara in the Great Victoria Desert of Western Australia the artists began painting as part of a native title process. They have gone on to produce artwork that continues to cements their coveted position in the art world. They consistently create work of quality and integrity that has seen them exhibited and collected around the world. The remarkable power of the artists work is evident in every painting. This exhibition includes two very special collaborative works, Pilanguru by the Men's Collaborative and Minyma Tjuta by the Women's Collaborative together with an impressive selection of artworks from individual senior painters. Forever on the rise, the Spinifex artists, their creations and their connection to country is a cultural alms that commands attention. Opens Thursday July 27 2017
Short St Gallery is proud to present a special exhibition of new paintings from the ‘minyma’ (senior women) of Mimili Maku Arts. Many of the artist paint Antara – an important women's ceremonial site near Mimili community – and its significant Maku (witchetty grub) Tjukurpa. Each minyma (woman) brings her own unique approach and distinct visual language to interpreting Antara country. Here, painting is also a vehicle for paying tribute to elders past - remembering and honouring the women who taught them as young girls. Mimili women proudly continue this tradition, sharing their immense knowledge with daughters, grand daughters and nieces every day in their community. The paintings reflect the beauty and deep knowledge of the artists represented including, Betty Pumani, Puna Yanima, Ngupulya Pumani, Tuppy Goodwin, and many more. Opens Thursday June 29.
Mangkaja Waters is a luscious exhibition from key female artists of Fitzroy Valley. Each artist has explored their country in a variety of ways revolving around the life giving element of water. Created on perspex, the work is given a luminescence and lushness that is extraordinary and difficult to capture. The renowned Sonia Kurarra has chosen river country in her depictions of Martuwarra. Lisa Uhl, last year's winner of the Hedland Art Award and a rising star, has brought us Turtujarti. Turtujarti are Lisa's abstract and powerful depictions of the flora that commonly rise from the Kurtal waterhole. Daisy Japuliji brings us the crisscross of billabongs that are so integral to desert survival and Rosie Uhl shows us the power of looking into the eye of a Jila (living waterhole). Mangkaja Waters is alluring in its use of desert colours. It is alive with the presence and energy of water. The artist's use of paint and mark making sits beautifully on their chosen medium. Please join us and the artists on Thursday June 1 at 6pm, all welcome.
Alison Nampitjinpa Anderson was born in a sandy river bed outside Haasts Bluff in the western desert. She was brought up by her Luritja-Pintupi mother and Warlpiri father at Papunya settlement. In the early 1970s, while still in her early teens, she saw the origins of the western desert art movement first hand: many of her close relations were among the most distinguished painters of the first generation, and she took up painting in her turn as a young woman, working first for Papunya Tula artists, then the Warumpi and Ngurratjuta art centres. Her works are widely collected with solo exhibitions of her art held in recent years in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin. Her familial ties stretch across large tracts of the western desert, as do her traditional links to the landscape. The country and what lies within it form the central subject of her paintings. The canvases in this exhibition explore her ties to country and her ancestral knowledge, telling very specific stories about Alison's tjukurpa (dreaming). The works on paper continue this association, developing the images and icons that form part of her various inherited song and pictorial narratives. Alison's artworks come together in this exhibition to show the strength and insight of her connection to her art practice and cultural heritage. THURSDAY 11 - 31 May. PLEASE JOIN SHORT ST GALLERY AND THE ARTIST TO FORMALLY OPEN THE EXHIBITION, MAY 18 AT 6PM. ALL WELCOME
Short St Gallery presents Many Hands featuring artists from Indulkana and their representations of Ngura (country). Indulkana is approximately 400 kilometres from Alice Springs on the banks of Iwantja Creek. This is country rich in desert colours with a magnitude of intricacies crossing the land. The paintings in Many Hands mirror the richness of the country they speak of with their use of colour and a painstaking attention to detail. The exhibition continues Short St's tradition of nurturing Indulkana's artists, their rising stars and the firmly established. The strength of the exhibition rests in the many hands of the artists on show and the magnificent artwork they have created. Opens Thursday April 20, 2017
Hailing from the APY Lands Jimmy Donegan has built his art career over many decades. His role as a senior artist of importance and his position in Australian and international art collections has climbed steadily since. His unfailing use of colour and line creates artworks that shimmer on the canvas. They depict Jimmy's traditional tjukurpa (dreaming), most commonly of the important waterhole Pukara and Papa's (Dingo). He is joined by fellow artists from the Pipalyatjara and Kalka communities. Their paintings are filled with the strength of country and an understanding of colour that is powerful and exuberant. Short St Gallery is proud to present this extraordinary solo exhibition by Jimmy and accompanying works by his fellow artists. PLEASE JOIN US & MR. DONEGAN ON THE 30th MARCH AT 6PM, ALL WELCOME.