Tjala Arts, Amata - Art Collector

Issue 47, January - March 2009

Featured as part of the annual special "50 Things Collectors Need to Know 2009"

Tjala Arts, a relatively new centre at Amata in the far north west of South Australia, is singled out for special mention by Rod McLeish of Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi. “They are fostering some strong artists,” says McLeish, “and their senior artist Ruby Williamson had a most successful debut solo exhibition at Gabrielle Pizzi. Her works sold very well.”

With Williamson’s work being acquired by the Art Gallery of South Australia, Liz Tregenza, General Manager of Ananguku Arts, agrees that Williamson emerged as an artist to watch in 2008. But Tregenza also enthuses in general about Tjala Arts and the diversity of work being produced there.

“Ruby Williamson’s bright graphic biographical works, the calm strength of paintings by Ray Ken, the wild colours and confident marks of Tiger Palpatja and the emergence of newcomers like Wariwiya indicate the depth of talent at Tjala Arts,” says Tregenza.
Tjala Arts is in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara/Yankunyjatjara [APY] Lands – an area that has seen a veritable explosion of art centres in the last few years.

“There’s 15 new centres in Pitjantjatjara/Yankunyjatjara [PY] Lands,” says visual arts writer Susan McCulloch. There’s been enormous growth in this corner of South Australia, as there has been in Queensland.”

The APY Lands are also home to the oldest art centre in Australia, Ernabella Arts, which celebrated its 60th birthday this year.
“I think Ernabella’s anniversary was the most significant celebration of the year,” says McCulloch. “It’s the oldest continuously run art centre in Australia and it has seen many changes and continues to develop new styles and new media.”

Jane Hampson

ERRATA: we incorrectly reported that Ruby Williamson's first solo show was at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi in Melbourne. In fact, Art Mob in Hobart had previously held two solo shows of Ms Williamson's work in 2003 and 2005.

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