Language Group: Eastern Arrernte
Country: Santa Teresa, South East of Alice Springs
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas and Linen, Watercolour on Board
Subjects: Landscape (Therese's Country), Bush Foods, Dancing Women in Ceremony
Therese grew up at Santa Teresa Mission, South East of Alice Springs, living in a dormitory, being cared for by Catholic nuns. The girls were taught cooking, sewing and house cleaning. Drawing lessons were given once a week at school.
There are references to a number of staff at the mission encouraging drawing and painting - Sister Therese Marie, Sister Anastasia, Dr Ethel Robertson and Mr. Sawjack. These were strong influences in the development of the landscape painting. It is interesting to note from text that the immerging artists from Santa Teresa were only partially aware of Albert Namatjira and his fame as a watercolourist landscape painter. Therese Ryder, Kathleen Wallace, Gabrielle Wallace and others entered work in the Alice Spring Show often winning prizes.
Therese moved to Alice Springs and has been painting ever since in both landscape style and more traditional dot style interpreting bush foods. Therese paints for private clients and galleries.
Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs
|1988||Pmere, Country in Mind, Arrernte Landscape Painters, The Araluen Centre Alice Springs|
|1989||The Sixth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition Museum and Art Gallery of the NT Darwin|
|1989||A Myriad of Dreaming: Twentieth Century Aboriginal Art, Westpac Gallery Melbourne; Design Warehouse Sydney (through Lauraine Diggins Fine Art)|
|1991||Heritage of Namatjira at Flinders, Flinders University Art Museum, Bedford Park, SA|
|1991||Aboriginal Women's Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney|
|1992||The Heritage of Namatjira touring exhibition through Flinders University Art Museum, Araluen Centre Alice Springs National tour by AETA|
|1993||Central Australian Aboriginal Art & Craft Exhibition Araluen Centre, Alice Springs|
|1999||Barossa Valley, Landscape Artists|
|2002||Mbantua Gallery USA Exhibitions: Art and Soul Gallery,Nashville, Tennessee; 'The Cove Gallery'Portland, Oregon; Urban Wine Works, Portland, Oregon; Mary's Woods, Portland, Oregon (Benefit OHSU Heart Research Centre)|
|2003||Mbantua Gallery USA Exhibitions: New City Merchants, Knoxville, Tennessee; Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee; 'The Cove Gallery' Portland, Oregon; Contemporary Aboriginal Art Event, Umpqua Bank, Portland, Oregon; Mary's Woods, Portland Oregon; Art From The Dreamtime, Portland Art Museum, Portland Oregon (Benefit - OHSU Heart Research Centre)|
|2004||Mbantua Gallery USA exhibition - Portland, Nashville, Knoxville, Hartford, Greenwich, New York and Philadelphia|
Therese paints women collecting merne alangkwe, known as the bush banana (Leichhardtia). Merne means food in Therese's language and Alangkwe is the banana. The woody, winding vine of the bush banana plant can be found climbing up other native trees and shrubs in Central Australia. It produces creamy white flowers and long skinny green leaves. This plant grows very quickly after rain and about a month later the fruits ripen and are collected by the Aboriginal people. This is an important and favoured food, eaten raw. The sweet flowers, leaves and roots can also be eaten. If not collected before maturation, the banana eventually opens up and releases numerous seeds with white feathery plumes (similar to a dandelion) that are carried by the wind for long distances to begin regermination. The fruit at this stage can still be eaten, but are favoured cooked. Aboriginal people often use the plumes for decorative purposes in ceremonies.
Therese illustrates the vine, leaves, flowers and fruit of the bush banana plant when it is ripe and ready to eat raw.