Artists

Helicopter

Born/Nee

1st July 1947

Location/Region

Ninmi

Skin/Peau

Tjungarrayi

Language/Langue

Kukatja

Despite having travelled extensively throughout his life, Helicopter remains dedicated to painting the Ninmi and Pippar countries, south of Balgo in the western regions, where he lived a nomadic life as a young boy learning the location of water sources and how to hunt. These formative experiences are reflected in his distinctive linear style, which emanates from the central feature of a soak water. Helicopter is a 'Maparn' (traditional medicine man) with renowned healing powers. Stories of the tasks performed during his time working at a mission station and travelling to collect supplies (notably from Broome, Alice Springs and Wyndham) are told in his work: drilling for water, collecting wood and cutting timber.

Eubena

Born/Nee

1st July 1921

Location/Region

Tjinjadpa, West of Jupiter Well

Skin/Peau

Nampitjin

Language/Langue

Purtitjarra, Mantjilytjarra, Wangkajungka and Kukatja

Famous for her energy and passion, in life and art, Eubena (Yupinya) is the best known of the Warlayirti artists and one of the most esteemed law women in the community. Her childhood experiences, growing up in a family that had a nomadic existence, travelling and hunting, performing law and ritual ceremonies are still evident in her work today. The luminous quality that is her signature developed in the mid-1980s when she started to paint with her second husband Wimmitji. Her spontaneity and strength of brush mark leave rhythmical tracks across the canvas creating the power of place and pride in country with which her work resonates.

Mitjili Napurrula

Born/Nee

1st January 1946

Location/Region

Haasts Bluff, Northern Territory

Language/Langue

Pintupi

Mitjili began painting in 1992, influenced by her father's country, Uwalki, which lies in the Gibson Desert west of Haasts Bluff and is a land of red sandhills, bushes and trees including the distinctive desert oaks. Initially her work was felt to be too similar to the Papunya style paintings she had seen as a young woman, but since working with the Ikuntji artists she has developed a very strong and distinctive personal style. Her key imagery emulates the patterns of her father's Dreaming, which her mother would draw in the sand. "My mother taught me my father's Tjukurrpa," she says. "That�s what I'm painting on the canvas."

Barbara Weir

Born/Nee

1945

Location/Region

Utopia

Language/Langue

Anmatyerre and Alyawarr

Born to an Irish father and Aboriginal mother (the artist Minnie Pwerle), Barbara Weir was 'hidden' from the age of two and fostered out to a non-Aboriginal family when she was nine. Thirteen years later she returned to Utopia and her own people and family who believed she had been killed. She became part of the celebrated group of women artists in Utopia whose extraordinary new art styles manifested in their approach to batik. When Rodney Gooch introduced them to acrylics and canvas in 1989 Barbara Weir soon developed a highly original, sophisticated and contemporary style of painting. Her work has many layers, moving from the delicate techniques of dotting and layering of motifs and narrative elements to bolder, more vibrant colours in Awalye (ceremonial) patterning. "I paint the same old stories I heard as a child," she says. "Only my personal style is different."