Ann Cleary Nyankulya Bnaka

Ann Cleary Nyankulya Bnaka


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Born: 1956

Language Group: Pitjantjatjara

Country: Wingellina, Western Australia

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas and Linen, Weaving (Grass Sculpture and Basket)

Subjects: Women Collecting Bush Food, Birds

Ann has been painting since 1973. She is popular for her realistic and colourful depictions of the bush foods found around Central Australia. She calls it 'Mai Putitja'. Many of her paintings include Witchetty Grubs, Honey Ants, Women and Coolamons (bowls). She says her paintings are a way of showing her people: their country, lifestyle and activities.

Ann was brought up in what is known as the stolen generation. She was the eldest child in her family and spent much time looking after the others. She was taken to Kalgoorlie Mission, SA, and was placed into a home. In 1973, at the age of 17, her caregivers noticed her artistic talent and gave her some canvas. She would paint their portraits and later portraits of her own family. Ann has a love for what she does and has also done basket weaving, carving of artefacts and work in lino block printing at Indulkana Community, S.A.

Ann also enjoys travelling and has travelled across the Nullabor Plains and to the Gold Fields. She has eight children, four of whom have learned to paint from watching their mother; Betty, Rochelle, Deanne and Eva were all taught her stories from a young age.

Collections

Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs

Exhibitions

1996 Café del. Art, Munster, Germany
1999 Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs NT
2004 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: Portland, Nashville, Knoxville, Hartford, Greenwich, New York and Philadelphia
2011 Nganana pukultu basket wirura palyapai (We love making beautiful baskets), The Jam Factory, Adelaide SA
2011 Desert Mob, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs NT
2012 Bush Animals: Sculpture from the Desert to the Sea, Nomad Art, Canberra ACT
2014 The Colours of Country, Metropolis Gallery, Geelong VIC
2016 Revealed, Fremantle Art Centre, Fremantle WA
2016 Tales from the Desert, Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery, Port Hedland WA

Awards

2013 Willoughby Sculpture Prize (entrant)