We’re delighted to welcome First Nations artists Sonya Murphy, Warrick Miller and - welcome back to - Marcus 'Double 00' Camphoo with their group show Ayamalke/Jinta-kari (Many Different Ways) exhibiting 22 June to 4 July 2023 in the Modern Times gallery.
Ayamalke is a Kaytetye word meaning ‘many’ or ‘abundant’. Jinta-kari means ‘different one’ or ‘different way’ in Warlpiri. Conjured in the Arlpwe Art and Culture Centre ladies’ painting room, this bilingual notion of many different ways is pertinent to the artists and their home, Ali Curung, a melting pot where four language groups share their home on Kaytetye Country.
Kaytetye people were joined by Alyawarr, Warlpiri and Warumungu at Ali Curung in the 1950s as people were relocated for mining and fled massacres. 70 years later, the small community, just 22km off the Stuart Highway, lives at an intersection between the comparatively metropolitan Alice Springs and Tennant Creek and the further out, more isolated communities to the East. This has fed into the vast experiences and expressions of the Arlpwe artists.
Murphy's first memories of learning to paint are when she was 12 years old, watching her grandmother and aunties paint and replicating their designs.
“Most of the aunties were painting their dreaming, the water dreaming, but my grandmother used to paint bush tucker,” says Murphy.
She started on her own painting career depicting the Ngapa Jukurrpa (water dreaming), which she inherits from her grandfather, although she has moved towards rhythmic line-based painting since. Murphy blends white with earthy oranges, yellows and reds using authoritative repetition and a natural feel for rhythm to foster hypnotic landscapes.
Miller's painting emerge from an ancient lineage of Warlpiri visual language and ceremony. They are painted by the custodians and guardians of the rain dreming on the bodies of the rainmakers during kurdiji (Warlpiri initiation ceremony) and are drawn in the sand as a direct continuation of ancient storytelling methods.
“My grandfather grew up in Papunya. I’m so lucky that I learn so much from him. I remember in the 1980s he used to tell us stories," says Miller.
Miller primarily paints the Ngapa Jukurrpa (water dreaming). He comes from a long line of lawmen, ceremonial rain-makers and artists including his great-grandfather Abie Tjangala and Abie’s brother Joe Bird Jangala. Miller recalls being told the epic stories of the water-rain-cloud and thunder Jukurrpa by old Joe as a young boy.
Camphoo has a grace and otherworldly quality that shines through in his total commitment to exploring the nuance of the grid, his signature minimal aesthetic. He has a natural affinity towards large, gestural and bold abstraction. His best work resonates like portals to another dimension.
Camphoo exhibited with Modern Times for the first time in 2022 with The Tennant Creek Brio's exhibition The Borderers – a collective who's work features dynamic interplay of influences including Aboriginal desert traditions, abstract expressionism, action painting, found or junk art, street art, and art activism.
View Exhibition: Ayamalke/Jinta-Kari