Senior Ernabella painter wins NATSIAAs - Art Collector

Dickie Minyintiri with his winning work, Kanyalakuntjina (Euro tracks). Courtesy: the artist

22 August 2011 | Ninety-six-year-old painter Dickie Minyintiri is the winner of this year’s National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award.

One of the most senior Pitjantjatjara men alive today, Minyintiri paints with the Ernabella arts centre.

He was selected for a work titled
Kanyalakutjina (Euro tracks). In this painting Minyintiri remembers walking his country, tracing animal tracks to important kapi tjukula (waterholes) and where Wati (men) also went for inma (ceremonies).

The judging panel, which comprised artists Danie Mellor and Nici Cumpston and curator Judith Ryan, described the work as “a spontaneous and multi-layered expression of the artist’s profound ancestral relationship to country”.

“The subtle application of colour, the gestural quality of the mark making and the incorporation of fluid linear elements make this a masterful work of art. The opacity of harmonious, pale pigments and the dynamic reiteration of ancestral tracks through country, create a shimmering surface that radiates energy and spirituality.”

“In arriving at our unanimous decisions, we felt that a number of other works deserve special commendation. These are George Tjungurrayi’s
Untitled; Christopher Pease’s Bling; Djambawa Marawili’s Yathikpa; Dinni Kunoth Kemarre’s Chess set and Lucy Malirrimurruwuy Wanapuyngu’s Healthy food from the past.”

In addition to the main $40,000 award, $4,000 prizes were also awarded in five other categories.

The Wandjuk Marika Memorial Three-Dimensional Award was awarded to Elcho Island’s Gali Yalkarriwuy Gurruwiwi for his morning star poles.

The works on paper award went to printmaker Dennis Nona, and Ricardo Idagi won the new media category.

The other winners were Bobby West Tjupurrula, who won the general painting category, and Melville Island’s Raelene Kerinauia, who won the bark painting category.

This year only 60 works were selected for exhibition, which continues at the Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory until 30 October 2011.

Jane O'Sullivan

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