An Exhibition Featuring 4 Prominent Aboriginal Artists

From the desert to the sea and everything in-between’ is an Aboriginal art exhibition featuring 4 prominent Artists with varying contemporary styles.  Each artist has their own unique stories to tell.  Their art is inspired from different regions around Australia.  The exhibition is being held at Gallery One on the Gold Coast and will run from 15 to 31 August, 2020.  Due to COVID-19, you can view the art online and order originals and prints at FINEPRINT CO through our Aboriginal Art Collection.


Tommy Yannima Pikarli Watson (C1935 - 2017) 

Tommy Yannima Pikarli Watson was a senior Pitjantjatara elder and Law man of Karima skin group.  Born in Circa 1935, Watson is from Anumarapiti, Western Australia, and is in close proximity to the junction of borders with South Australia and the Northern Territory.  His names Yannima and Pikarli are in relation to specific sites near Anumarapiti.


Tommy Yannima Pikarli Watson’s painting career did not start until 2001.  It was at this time that he and several other artists were influential in forming the Irrunytju community art centre.


Recognised on both the national and international stage, Tommy Watson's work has received critical acclaim.  In 2006, Watson was one of eight indigenous artists who collaborated on a commission that furnished works to decorate one of the Musée du quai Branly's Paris four buildings.


Due to ill health, there was a short break in Watson’s art career.  It was not until early 2013, after a move to Alice Springs, that Tommy Watson returned to painting.  It was around this time that he started producing larger works, some up to 5 metres in length.  These large canvases are typical of his late career, with one of them selling in excess of $800,000. 


2014 was a major year for Tommy Yannima Pikarli Watson’s art career.  His work was included in the group exhibition of ‘First Contact Western Desert Masters’ in June.  This exhibition also featured other great Aboriginal artists like Naata Nungurrayi, Esther Giles Nampitjinpa, and George Hairbrush Tjungurrayi.  One of Watson’s major works was on display at ‘The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF), a world renowned prestigious art fair.  Also in 2014, Watson was named as the first Indigenous artist for the Art Series Hotel Group.


Tommy Yannima Pikarli Watson was recognised for representing the ancestral stories of his country through his use of powerful and vibrant colours.



Jorna Newberry 

Born at Angus Downs, Northern Territory in 1959, Jorna Newberry is a Pitjantjatjara artist.  Newberry is the niece of renowned Indigenous artist, Tommy Watson.  Newberry spends the majority of her time between Warakurna, Irrunytju and Alice Springs.  These places have a strong influence on Newberry’s art.


This is especially true for Jorna Newberry as her life is across the traditional Aboriginal culture and the modern Australian culture.  In her travels amongst these remote communities, Newberry joins the women to partake in traditional and cultural ceremonies.  This has all contributed to her artwork, which started in the mid 1990s at Warakurna.  


Later Newberry would participate in the Irrunytju Art Centre, the same art centre that her uncle had helped establish.  More recently, Tommy Watson and Jorna Newberry had worked closely together.  This has led to Newberry taking a more abstract approach, which was part of Watson’s influence.  This allowed them to ensure the secrecy of important indigenous cultural subjects, as opposed to a more figurative style.  In this Aboriginal Art exhibition, Jorna Newberry is the emerging star.



Goompi Ugerabah

Goompi Ugerabah grew up in the Kombemerri country, and it is his connection to this region that provides great inspiration.  As a proud tribal man, Goompi is passionate about showcasing his culture in several artistic forms, including dance, song, language and visual expression.  As part of this, he pays significant respect to his mentors and teachers.


The more recent generations of Goompi’s family are from the Ngnarangwal tribal area (Gold Coast) and Minjungbal tribal area (Tweed Heads).  This was due to the forced relocation of his great-great-grandmother from the Gurreng Gurreng people who were located near Maryborough.  


The stories of Goompi’s skin father are expressed in detailed intricate dot patterns and fluid line work combining neutral landscape tones with the vivid hues of the rainforest and coastal habitat. 


Goompi uses the canvas to display his culture.  This approach is a combination of spiritual and creative expression.  This form of story-telling is further enhanced as Goompi provides the text of the story on the back of the canvas.  His success is evident as his art is exhibited locally and internationally and is found in public and private collections alike.  This includes in collections like;

  • The Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A ) in Langley,Virginia, U.S, 
  • HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark, and 
  • Notable Australian businesses including 
    • John Deere Australia
    • Zarraffa’s Coffee Headquarters, and
    • Iconic at Kirra.


Goompi has had sell-out exhibitions with Gallery One in 2017, 2018 and 2019.  Even with COVID-19, there is an expectation that 2020 will be no different.

Karen Napaljarri Barnes 

Karen Napaljarri Barnes was born in Lajamanu, a remote Aboriginal community.  Lajamanu is located on the edge of the Tanami Desert, approximately 1,000km north-west of Alice Springs.  After completing her schooling, Barnes moves 700km south to Yuendumu to be closer to her family.


Barnes started painting in 2001, joining the Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed Art Centre.  It was here that Karen Napaljarri Barnes would sit with her grandmother, Warlukurlangu’s famous artists, Judy Napangardi Watson and paint together.


The art Barnes produces is of the dreaming stories that were handed down to her by her family.  These stories have been handed down for countless generations.  The stories originate from Mina Mina, west of Yuendumu.  Her family are the custodians of Mina Mina.  In addition this, Karen Napaljarri Barnes also paints the following;

  • Karnta Jukurrpa (Women’s Dreaming)
  • Wakulyarri Jukurrpa (Wallaby Dreaming)
  • Ngarlajiyi Jukurrpa (Bush Carrot Dreaming)
  • Ngatijirri Jukurrpa (Budgerigar Dreaming). 


Exhibition Art and Prints

The “Aboriginal Art Exhibition: From The Desert To The Sea And Everything In-Between” is being hosted at Gallery One, ‘The Brickworks’ 107 Ferry Rd, Southport Gold Coast, QLD.  In addition to being able to view and purchase the original artworks at the exhibition, limited edition prints are also available through FINEPRINT co.  Please feel free to contact us for more information. 

August 18, 2020 — Boost Commerce Collaborator