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Tjungkara Ken / Seven Sisters Dreaming (Kungkarangkalpa Tjukurpa) (TKN202212)

SKU: TKN202212

151cm x 137cm Acrylic on Linen

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$22,000.00

151cm x 137cm Acrylic on Linen

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Artist Profile

Artwork is accompanied by Yanda Aboriginal Art Certificate of Authenticity/Provenance. Artwork painted by the artist at Yanda Art Studio, NT

Tjungkara Ken was born in 1969 and is a Pitjantjatjara artist from Amata in the South Australian APY Lands. She began painting in 1997 when Minymaku Arts was opened by the women of Amaṯa and started painting professionally in 2008. By that time, the artists’ co-operative had been renamed Tajala Arts, and Tjungkara spends her time painting here and at the Yanda Art studio on a purpose-built rural property outside of Alice Springs.

Tjungkara comes from a family of talented artists. Her parents are Mick Wikilyiri and Paniny Mick, both important cultural leaders and respected artists and she often paints with four of her sisters – Yaritji Young, Sandra Ken, Freda Brady and Maringka Tunkin.

Tjungkara’s paintings depict stories and figures from her personal Tjukurpa, the spirituality that is associated with her ancestor’s homeland. Her father is from the country around Amaṯa and Walitjara, and Tjungkara most often depicts this country and its Tjukurpa in her paintings. She also illustrates her mother’s country, which is further west, near Irrunytju in Western Australia.
Tjungkara’s paintings have been featured in exhibitions around the world including France, Austria and Singapore. One of her paintings, titled Ngayuku Ngura – My Country, was chosen as a finalist for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2010.

A painting depicting the Kungkarungkara (Seven Sisters Dreaming), was chosen by the Art Gallery of South Australia as the prize for a competition run during the Gallery’s Desert Country exhibition in 2011. Tjungkara’s painting from the Art Gallery of South Australia’s permanent collection was also included in the exhibition and featured on the cover of the Desert Country catalogue. The exhibition featured works by several artists from across the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands, including Marinka Baker, Nura Rupert and Jimmy Baker.

Tjungkara’s works are held in the National Gallery of Victoria, the Art Gallery of South Australia, the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Australia to name a few.
Tjungkara was an Archibald Prize finalist in 2017 with her Kungkarangkalpa Tjukurpa (Seven Sisters dreaming), a self-portrait. She was awarded the Roberts Family Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Prize for Seven Sisters, her entry in the 2021 Wynne Prize.

In 2016, painting collaboratively, the five Ken sisters won the prestigious Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Selected Collections
• Art Gallery of South Australia
• National Gallery of Australia
• National Gallery of Victoria
• The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art
• Art Gallery of South Australia
• Artbank
• Corrigan Collection
• Laverty Collection

Awards and Recognition
• 2022 Finalist (with Yaritji Young), Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
• 2021 Winner, Roberts Family Prize (in the Wynne Prize), Art Gallery of New South Wales
• 2021 Sidney Myer Fund – Creative Fellow (painting)
• 2021 Finalist, Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
• 2019 Finalist, Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
• 2018 Finalist, (with Ken Sisters Collaborative), Telstra National Indigenous Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
• 2017 Finalist, (with Ken Sisters Collaborative), Telstra National Indigenous Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
• 2017 Finalist, Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
• 2016 Winner (with Ken Sisters Collaborative), Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
• 2015 Finalist, Telstra National Indigenous Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
• 2014 Finalist, Telstra National Indigenous Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
• 2013 Finalist, Telstra National Indigenous Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
• 2010 Finalist, Telstra National Indigenous Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

Selected Exhibitions
• 2022/2023 Tarnanthi on Tour: Kungka Kunpu, AGSA followed by national tour to: Ngununggula NSW, Maitland Regional Gallery NSW, HOTA Gallery, QLD, Geelong Gallery, VIC, Bunjil Place Gallery, VIC
• 2022 Jan Murphy Gallery, Art Basel Online Viewing Room
• 2021 Seven Sisters: Kungkarangkalpa, Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane
• 2021 Archie 100: A Century of the Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
• 2020 New work, Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane
• 2019 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
• 2019 Seven Sisters, Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane
• 2019 Summer Show, Aboriginal & Pacific Art, Sydney
• 2018 Seven Sisters, Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane
• 2018 Salon des Refusés, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
• 2018 Divided Worlds – Adelaide Biennial of Art, Art Gallery of South Australia
• 2017 Gems of the APY land, Aboriginal Signature Estrangin Gallery, Paris
• 2017 Jan Murphy Gallery, Sydney Contemporary, Sydney
• 2017 Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
• 2017 Taranthi Festival, Art Gallery of South Australia
• 2017 Town Studio Exhibition, Tangentyere Artists Aboriginal Art Centre, NT
• 2016 Nganampa Kililpil: Our Stars, Hazlehurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, NSW
• 2016 Seven Sisters, Aboriginal and Pacific Art, Sydney
• 2015 Salon des Refusés, Presented by Outstation and Paul Johnstone Gallery in association with Darwin Festival
• 2015 Tjintu wiru – Beautiful day, Aboriginal and Pacific Art, Sydney
• 2015 Tjukurpa, Ngura, Waltja – Culture, Country, Family, Outstation Gallery, Darwin
• 2014 In Memory of Kunmanara Williamson: These are the stories we teach our children, Short Street Gallery, Broome
• 2014 Paintings from the Heart of Amata Country, Aboriginal and Pacific Art, Sydney
• 2014 Tjala-nga Tjara – It’s all about Tjala, Outstation Gallery, Darwin
• 2014 Tjintu kuwaritja wiru mulapa, Red Dot Gallery, Singapore
• 2013 Desert Mob, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
• 2013 APY Lands Survey Exhibition, Outstation Gallery, Darwin
• 2013 Tjukurpa nganampa kunpu kanyintjaku – Stories that keep culture strong, Aboriginal and Pacific Art, Sydney
• 2013 Kunpu Pulka – Strong and Important, Outstation Gallery, Darwin
• 2012 Ngura ngura munu malaku ngura kutu – From home and returning home, Outstation Gallery, Darwin
• 2012 Punu Ngur – From the tress, Outstation Raft Artspace, Alice Springs
• 2012 Kunpu munu ninti pilulka: Nyangatja Anangu tjutu ku minyma ku way – Strong and Wise: This is the way of Anangu Women, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
• 2012 Tjala Arts – News Works, Marshall Arts, Adelaide
• 2012 Tjala Arts – New Works, Short Street Gallery, Broome

Biography courtesy Brenda Colahan Fine Art

Artwork description

Tjungkara tells us the story of the Seven Sisters. This Tjukurpa (Creation) story shows the sisters as the constellation of Pleiades and Orion is said to be Nyiru (bad man). Nyiru saw the sisters as they travelled to the west. He fell in love with them, and even though they were of the wrong skin name to marry him, he was desperate to make them his. As the women fled from Nyiru they created the country and landscape. The sisters created the rockhole’s, sandhills and rocky outcrops as they tried to escape. Eventually they created a rock hole which went deep under the ground and came up on the other side of the hill. The women dived into the water and came out on the other side to fly up into the sky. Nyiru followed them into the water and when he came out on the other side he was too late. Now, Nyiru can be seen to the south of the seven sisters, as he still chases them across the sky.

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Tjungkara Ken / Seven Sisters Dreaming (Kungkarangkalpa Tjukurpa) (TKN202212)
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