Topsy Gibson Napaltjarri

Last updated

Topsy Gibson Napaltjarri
Bornc.1950 (2020-04-21UTC16:50)
NationalityAustralian
Known forPainting

Topsy Gibson Napaltjarri (born c. 1950), also known as Tjayika or Tjanika, is a Pintupi-speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region.

Contents

Life

Topsy Gibson was the first child of Papalya Nangala and Waku Tjungurrayi, born circa 1950 at Wirrulnga, near Kiwirrkurra Community, Western Australia. The ambiguity around the year of birth is in part because Indigenous Australians operate using a different conception of time, often estimating dates through comparisons with the occurrence of other events. [1]

'Napaljarri' (in Warlpiri) or 'Napaltjarri' (in Western Desert dialects) is a skin name, one of sixteen used to denote the subsections or subgroups in the kinship system of central Australian Indigenous people. These names define kinship relationships that influence preferred marriage partners and may be associated with particular totems. Although they may be used as terms of address, they are not surnames in the sense used by Europeans. [2] [3] Thus 'Topsy Gibson' is the element of the artist's name that is specifically hers.

Topsy Gibson married Tommy Tjakamarra, living first at Mount Doreen, north-west of Yuendumu, Northern Territory, then at Yuendumu and Papunya. Remarried to Tony Tjakamarra, she relocated to Balgo, Western Australia, before the couple settled in Kiwirrkurra in 1984. She has a son, and daughters Yalamay (born 1973) and Lynette (born 1976). [4] As one of the native title holders for the Kiwirrkurra Area, Topsy Gibson is a member of Tjamu Tjamu Aboriginal Corporation. [5] [6]

Art

Balgo, Western Australia, the base of Warlayirti Artists, which represented Topsy Gibson. Balgo from the air.jpg
Balgo, Western Australia, the base of Warlayirti Artists, which represented Topsy Gibson.

Background

Contemporary Indigenous art of the western desert began when Indigenous men at Papunya began painting in 1971, assisted by teacher Geoffrey Bardon. [7] Their work, which used acrylic paints to create designs representing body painting and ground sculptures, rapidly spread across Indigenous communities of central Australia, particularly following the commencement of a government-sanctioned art program in central Australia in 1983. [8] By the 1980s and 1990s, such work was being exhibited internationally. [9] The first artists, including all of the founders of the Papunya Tula artists' company, had been men, and there was resistance amongst the Pintupi men of central Australia to women painting. [10] However, there was also a desire amongst many of the women to participate, and in the 1990s large numbers of them began to create paintings. In the western desert communities such as Kintore, Yuendumu, Balgo, and on the outstations, people were beginning to create art works expressly for exhibition and sale. [9]

Career

Topsy, and her sister Takariya, both began to paint in 1996, while her younger brother Warlimirrnga Tjapaltjarri had begun painting in 1987. [4] She has been represented by Warlayirti Artists, the Indigenous art centre at Balgo, Western Australia. [11] Western Desert artists such as Topsy will frequently paint particular 'dreamings', or stories, for which they have personal responsibility or rights. [12] In Topsy's case, these stories include Snake Dreaming and Minyma Kutjarra (or Two Women) Dreaming. [4]

Related Research Articles

Biddy Rockman Napaljarri is a Walpiri-speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. She has been painting since 1986, and her work is in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria.

Susie Bootja Bootja Napaltjarri was an Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. Born south-west of Balgo, Western Australia, in the 1950s Susie Bootja Bootja married artist Mick Gill Tjakamarra, with whom she had a son, Matthew Gill Tjupurrula.

Tjunkiya Napaltjarri was a Pintupi-speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. She is the sister of artist Wintjiya Napaltjarri.

Wintjiya Napaltjarri, and also known as Wintjia Napaltjarri No. 1, is a Pintupi-speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. She is the sister of artist Tjunkiya Napaltjarri; both were wives of Toba Tjakamarra, with whom Wintjiya had five children.

Takariya Napaltjarri is an Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. She has painted with Papunya Tula artists' cooperative. First exhibited in 1996, her work is held in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Parara Napaltjarri was a Pintupi-speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. Her paintings are included in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Eileen Napaltjarri is a Pintupi-speaking indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. Eileen Napaltjarri, also known as Anyima Napaltjarri or Nanyuma Napaltjarri, began painting for Papunya Tula artists' cooperative in 1996. She was named as one of Australian Art Collector magazine's 50 Most Collectible artists in 2008; her works are held by the National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Louisa Lawson Napaljarri (Pupiya) was a Warlpiri-speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. Louisa commenced painting at Lajamanu, Northern Territory in 1986. Her work is held by the National Gallery of Victoria.

Helen Nelson Napaljarri, also known as Helen White Napajarri or Helen Spencer Napaljarri, is a Walpiri-speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. A literacy worker in Yuendumu, Northern Territory, Helen began painting with Warlukurlangu Artists in the 1980s. Her paintings are held by the Art Gallery of South Australia and South Australian Museum. She has contributed to several bilingual language books in Walpiri and English.

Linda Yunkata Syddick Napaltjarri is a Pintupi- and Pitjantjatjara- speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. Her father was killed when she was young; her mother later married Shorty Lungkarta Tjungarrayi, an artist whose work was a significant influence on Linda Syddick's painting.

Kitty Pultara Napaljarri is an Anmatyerre-speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. Born at Napperby Station east of Yuendumu, Northern Territory, she worked on the station and first learned to paint there around 1986. Her work is held in the collections of the Art Gallery of South Australia and South Australian Museum.

Sheila Brown Napaljarri was a Warlpiri-speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. A contributor to major collaborative paintings by Indigenous communities, her works are also held by the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the South Australian Museum.

Valerie Lynch Napaltjarri is an Indigenous Australian artist from Papunya in Australia's Northern Territory. She is a painter and printmaker whose work has been collected by the National Gallery of Australia.

Maggie Napaljarri Ross is an Indigenous Australian artist. Her work has been collected by Artbank and the Kluge-Ruhe Museum in the United States.

Nora Andy Napaltjarri is a Warlpiri- and Luritja-speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. like her mother Entalura Nangala, Nora has painted for Indigenous artists' cooperative Papunya Tula. Her work has been exhibited at the Gauguin Museum in Tahiti, and is held by Artbank.

Ada Andy Napaltjarri is a Warlpiri– and Luritja–speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. Ada was born near Haasts Bluff, Northern Territory, and has lived in several Northern Territory communities. She began painting in the early 1980s at Alice Springs and probably played a role in the development of interest in painting in the communities in which she has lived.

Ngoia Pollard Napaltjarri is a Walpiri-speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. Ngoia Pollard married Jack Tjampitjinpa, who became an artist working with the Papunya Tula company, and they had five children.

Molly Jugadai Napaltjarri was a Pintupi- and Luritja-speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. Her paintings are held in major collections including the National Gallery of Australia.

Mona Rockman Napaljarri is a Warlpiri-speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. Her paintings and pottery are held in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria.

Norah Nelson Napaljarri is a Warlpiri-speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region. Norah Nelson began painting in 1986 and has exhibited her works both in Australia and other countries. Her paintings and pottery are held in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria.

References

  1. Birnberg, Margo; Janusz Kreczmanski (2004). Aboriginal Artist Dictionary of Biographies: Australian Western, Central Desert and Kimberley Region. Marleston, South Australia: J.B. Publishing. pp. 10–12. ISBN   1-876622-47-4.
  2. "Kinship and skin names". People and culture. Central Land Council. Archived from the original on 11 October 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
  3. De Brabander, Dallas (1994). "Sections". In David Horton (ed.). Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia . 2. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. p. 977. ISBN   978-0-85575-234-7.
  4. 1 2 3 Johnson, Vivien (2008). Lives of the Papunya Tula Artists. Alice Springs, NT: IAD Press. p. 306.
  5. "Current list of names and addresses of members of Tjamu Tjamu". Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations. 2007. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  6. "Tjamu Tjamu: Consolidated Rule Book". Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations. 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  7. Bardon, Geoffrey; James Bardon (2006). Papunya – A place made after the story: The beginnings of the Western Desert painting movement. University of Melbourne: Miegunyah Press.
  8. Dussart, Francoise (2006). "Canvassing identities: reflecting on the acrylic art movement in an Australian Aboriginal settlement". Aboriginal History. 30: 156–168.
  9. 1 2 Morphy, Howard (1999). Aboriginal Art. London: Phaidon. pp. 261–316.
  10. Strocchi, Marina (2006). "Minyma Tjukurrpa: Kintore / Haasts Bluff Canvas Project: Dancing women to famous painters". Artlink. 26 (4).
  11. "Full list of artists". Warlayirti Artists. Archived from the original on 7 January 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  12. Johnson, Vivien (1994). "Introduction". Aboriginal Artists of the Western Desert: A Biographical Dictionary. Roseville East, NSW: Craftsman House. pp. 7–12.