Following the emergence of the Papunya Tula painting movement in the 1970s, other remote Aboriginal communities began to transfer traditional designs – variously associated with body painting, sand drawing and other ritual arts – to new media, inorder to generate income and promote the values of their cultures.

During the 1980s, the artists of the Balgo Hills in the Great Sandy Desert began painting and exhibiting, swiftly gaining recognition for work loosely influenced by the minimalism of Papunya painting, but that used bright and diverse colours and opulent expression. Balgo subsequently consolidated its reputation and Balgo artists have been widely exhibited both within Australia and internationally. Eubena Nampitjin is the pre-eminent Balgo artist to date. She began painting in the 1980s and is renowned as a community leader and teacher of customary language and law as well as an artist and ambassador for her community. Her works are characterised by hot colours, spontaneity, and a unique style of complex dotting, seeming to reflect the texture of the land and its low-growing, scrubby foliage. This is a powerful and representative work by a major figure. This acquisition was presented by the Art Fund and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation


Northern Editions Printmaking Studio and Gallery, Charles Darwin University

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