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Colleen Wallace Kngwarreye


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Born: 1974

Language Group: Eastern Arrernte

Country: Arnumarra, near Gem Tree, North East of Alice Springs (father) and Arrulka, near Conniston, North West of Alice Springs (mother)

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas and Linen, Decorative Art

Subjects: Dreamtime Sisters, Awelye (Women's Ceremony), Arlatyeye (Bush Yam)

Colleen is a self-taught artist who comes from a strong family tradition of Eastern Arrernte painters, including Therese Wallace (Colleen's mother) and Gabriella Wallace (Colleen's aunt). Colleen was raised by her stepmother, Kathleen Wallace, at Santa Teresa and Alice Springs. Colleen's father's country is near Gem Tree, north east of Alice Springs.

Colleen's most popular paintings illustrate Dreamtime Sisters who are good spirits dancing the awelye (women's ceremony) and looking after Colleen's country.

'My country is called Arnumarra that is my grandfather's country. In my painting, the dreamtime sisters are a group of spirits that look after the land and also their role is to guard special areas such as sacred sites and protect the land.' – Colleen Wallace, August 2014.

Colleen says these sisters were once living people; her ancestors. She also paints Awelye (Women's Ceremony) and Arlatyeye (Bush Yam Dreaming).

Colleen now lives at Mulga Bore (north east of Alice Springs) and Alice Springs with her husband, Colin Bird (Ada Bird's son) and their children. Colleen also works at Mulga Bore School as a teacher.

Collections

Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs

Exhibitions

1999 Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T. Australia
2002 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, TN; 'The Cove Gallery' Portland, OR; Urban Wine Works, Portland, OR; Mary's Woods, Portland, OR
2003 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: New City Merchants, Knoxville, TN; Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, TN; 'The Cove Gallery' Portland, OR; Mary's Woods, Portland, OR; Contemporary Aboriginal Art Event, Umpqua Bank, Portland, Oregon; Art from the Dreamtime, Portland Art Museum, Portland OR
2004 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: Portland, Nashville, Knoxville, Hartford, Greenwich, New York and Philadelphia
2004 'Awelye', Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs
2004 Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs
2005 'Small Wonders' (A collection of 1'x1' and 1'x1½' paintings), Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, NT
2005 Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs
2006 Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs
2008 Dreamings – the Land, Outback Aboriginal Art, Caulfield, Vic