Desert Stars brings First Nations art from the red centre to the coast
In March 2010 First Nations artist Selina Teece Pwerl boarded a plane for the first time from her home in Antarrengeny; a remote community north of the Utopia region in central Australia, bound for South Fremantle. It was her first visit to a coastal city, and her first view of the ocean.
Selina was in Perth as an emerging artist showing alongside her mother Lulu Teece in a Mother and Daughter exhibition, hosted by South Fremantle’s Artitja Fine Art Gallery.
Now, thirteen years later Selina Teece Pwerl has become an accomplished artist whose paintings fit comfortably into the national and international exhibiting arena and the gallery is delighted to once again be hosting the artist’s return visit for the opening of Desert Stars on Friday, October 27 at the Terrace Greenhouse Gallery, in South Fremantle.
Selina’s work encompasses a range of styles which bring the canvas to life through shapes such as spinifex, gum blossom flowers and kurrajong seeds. Her greatest passion, however, is in her meticulous landscape representations of her father’s country — the landscape which she so loves, and which to the onlooker creates a feeling of hovering over the country, looking down.
The exhibition Desert Stars is made up of a small group of artists from Utopia, a region spanning many thousands of kilometres to the north east of Alice Springs. Most however hail from the Harts Range region in the eastern central desert, and include Caroline Petrick Kngwarreye, Belinda and Janet Golder; Charmaine Pwerle, Colleen Wallace Nungarrayi and Ada Beasley Pula.
The artists in this exhibition are constantly inspired by their surroundings but moreso the influence of their forebearers and family artists including Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Polly Ngale, Minnie Pwerle, Barbara Weir and Gloria Petyarre, all internationally recognised and celebrated artists — now sadly deceased — but through this younger generation of artists their legacy lives on.
“There are so many stars in this exhibition, we couldn’t think of a better title for it!” said Gallery Director, Anna Kanaris.
As well as being present on the opening night, Selina Teece Pwerl will be in the Gallery on Saturday, October 28 for a meet and greet.
Since 2004 Artitja Fine Art Gallery’s focus has been in presenting art from remote community art centres including the Tiwi Islands and Arnhem land. The gallery holds up to six exhibitions a year in an exhibiting space and at other times works by appointment. Artitja Fine Art Gallery is a member of the Indigenous Art Code and committed to ethical practice.
Desert Stars shows at Artitja Fine Art Gallery from Friday, October 27 until Sunday, November 19, 2023. For more info and for opening hours head to artitja.com.au