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Artbank New Acquisitions Melbourne 2022





Wiradjuri, Lives and works on Gadigal Country/Sydney, NSW

'Crush,' 2021, Single channel video, 3 min 49 sec

Acquired by Artbank 2021

Jazz Money is a Wiradjuri poet and filmmaker who focuses her practice on storytelling and community collaboration. Money describes Crush as ‘a poem in the form of a film / a film in the form of a poem’. The work moves between the personal and the political as the artist considers the sticky intersection of colonialism and desire. Large blocks of ice holding indigenous flora in suspension recall both the anticipation of desire and the fossilisation and objectification of First Nations people and culture by colonisers. As the ice drips and melts onto the artist’s body her words in Wiradjuri and English are revealed slowly and powerfully – her agency is skilfully reclaimed and asserted.


YHONNIE SCARCE (b. 1973, Woomera SA)

Kokatha and Nukunu, Lives and works Naarm/Melbourne, VIC

'Working Class Man (Andamooka Opal Fields),' 2017, Inkjet print on cotton rag + frame, vintage metal bucket and hand blown glass yams, 150 × 107 × 5 cm

Acquired by Artbank 2021

Scarce is an interdisciplinary artist who uses installation, photography and contemporary glass. Her work often looks at the legacies of colonisation and presents counter narratives.   This work, based in family history, takes Scarce’s own grandfather as the protagonist. Heroising labour, Scarce appropriates a family photograph of her grandfather working at an opal-mine in South Australia. Blown up and reframed by the addition of a bucket holding glass hopes/tears/sweat the small photographic memento mori becomes an icon to the “Working Class Man.” As Scarce has reminisced: “here was a man who endured many hardships, provided for his family stoically yet did not become an official citizen until 1967”.


GUNYBI GANAMBARR (b. 1973, Yirrkala NT)

Naymil people, Lives and works Yirrkala, NT

'Garraparra,' 2021, Found and etched aluminium, 90 x 90 cm

Acquired by Artbank 2021

Originally painting on bark and larrakitj, Ganambarr has experimented with a variety of materials found on country from rubber tyres to incised road signs. By hijacking the sign as a material ground he shifts and appropriates the original (western) legal authority and asserts, instead, Yolngu power over the area. Garraparra is a coastal headland and bay area within Blue Mud Bay. The wavy lines and metallic shimmer represent the multidirectional waters. From a lore point of view, the area marks a sacred burial for the Dhalwanu clan and a site where dispute was formally settled through trial by spearing (Makarrata). The site is thus one of peacemaking and justice; the deep waters of the area lend significance to the site.


ANN DEBONO (b. 1989, Maitland NSW)

Lives and works Naarm/Melbourne, VIC

'Unbidden,'  2020, Synthetic polymer paint and oil on linen, 139 x 98 cm

Acquired by Artbank 2021

“Often I think my experience of vision is a random oscillation between witnessing an arid and sterile world and a world cataclysmically saturated with significance.”

Debono offers unique perspectives that meditate on the process of viewing the world. Unbidden was created during a residency in Rome and contemplates the ‘ambivalent muteness’ of artefacts and historical sites. Borrowing imagery of her surrounds – plants, weeds, architectural spaces, classical sculptures from degraded photographic reproductions, her painting equivocates between the nostalgic graininess of a photograph and the ‘preserved sterility’ of relics and ruins – building spaces that fold and topple in upon themselves as time and place both collide and fall away.



Lives and works Naarm/Melbourne, VIC

'Transparency Leads to Epiphany,' 2021, Framed hand printed analogue C-type photographic print, 140 x 105 cm, Edition 1/3

Acquired by Artbank 2021

Grabowsky’s work is strategically analogue. In a world saturated by digital imagery art photography has returned to the experiments and qualities of the analogue. Grabowsky creates imagery with and without a camera, but always imparts an element of his psyche through improvised scratching, painting and engraving that challenges the assumed direct relationship between reality and photography. This approach borrows from surrealist endeavours and allows the artist to treat the photograph as a new object that mirrors current sentiments of an unstable reality. 


ATONG ATEM (b. 1994, Ethiopia, South Sudanese)

Lives and works Naarm/Melbourne, VIC

'Adut and Bigoa,' 2015, Ilford smooth pearl print, 222 x 159 cm

Acquired by Artbank 2019

Atong Atem is an Ethiopian born, South Sudanese artist whose work is deeply informed by the migrant experience and concepts around formation and expression of identity. Adut and Bigoa is an energetic yet tender work exploring themes of cultural agency and expression. Here, Atem references the works of photographers Malick Sidibe, Philip Kwame Apagya and Seydou Keita to reclaim the photographic gaze and picture a strong relationship to culture. Her bright, pattern filled backdrops push against former uses of photography to document and classify. Coupled with the affection between the sitters, Atem brings an intimacy to the genre of study portraiture that reflects the cultural safety of private space and community ties.


LENNARD WALKER (b. 1946, Tjukaltjara WA)

Pitjantjatjara people

'Tali,' 2020, Synthetic polymer paint on linen, 200 x 290 cm

Acquired by Artbank 2021

Walker is a senior Spinifex artist and the senior custodian for Kuru Ala, an immensely important site in the region. It is a Women’s Site, holding the Kungkarangkalpa Tjukurrpa — Seven Sisters story. Tali charts this landscape, with its expansive sand dunes and small rockholes including Purpurnya, Kapi Wiyatjara, Nyuman, Kamanti, Tuwan and Wayatji, which provide much needed water for the people who travel the area on foot. As a man, there are places he cannot go, but he still holds authority and cultural responsibilities of Kuru Ala and grants permission to women travelling to his country to practice ceremony.


HAYLEY MILLAR-BAKER (b. 1990, Melbourne VIC)

Wathaurong and Gunditjmara

Lives and works Naarm/Melbourne, VIC

'Even if the race is fated to disappear 1 & 3 (Peeneeyt Meerreeng / Before, Now, Tomorrow),' 2017, Inkjet on cotton rag, 120 x 80 cm , Edition 5/7

Acquired by Artbank 2021

Millar-Baker is a First Nations artist working predominantly with photography to create works that confront the colonial history of Australia and its impact on her community. She uses a slick form of collage that builds imagined landscapes from layers and layers of individually photographed elements. This process echoes the ‘mashing up’ of countries and identities that the legacy of colonialism has necessitated, encapsulating her identity as an Aboriginal woman living in urban, post-settled south-east Australia. It also restores a sense of power and control to the artist over the contemplation and depiction of her land.


REGINA WILSON (b. 1948, Daly River Region NT)


Lives and works Peppimenarti, NT

'Syaw (Fish Net),'  2009, Acrylic on Canvas, 120 x 200 cm

Acquired by Artbank 2021

Regina Pilawuk Wilson is a Ngan’gikurrungurr woman, senior artist and Cultural Director of Durrmu Arts Aboriginal Corporation. In 1973, together with her husband Harold Wilson, Regina founded the Peppimenarti Community as a permanent settlement for the Ngan’gikurrungurr people. In the eighties Wilson begun translating her weaving practice in to lines of acrylic paint; the colour palette too approximated the natural dyes the community uses. Her major motifs are circular sun mats, fish nets and message sticks. The paintings retain the cultural knowledge and family lines of their material artefacts now rendered in paint. The Syaw form is the most rectilinear of her forms. The colours weave finely together creating other tertiary colour combinations.


JULIA TYBALA (b. 1992)

Lives and works Naarm/Melbourne, VIC

'Bathroom I,' 2021, Oil on canvas, 101 x 84 cm

Acquired by Artbank 2021

Julia Trybala uses painting and drawing as a way of contemplating herself, her relationships and surroundings. She aims to capture the tender and intimate moments from the everyday. Most recently she has been exploring varied emotional states of stylised female characters. whose bodies contort to fit within the pre-defined space of the canvas. The paintings rely on the rhythmical repetition of curves that flow through the canvas easily. The fleshiness of hips and breasts become doubled in fleshy fingers and fulsome ears that also become expressive and erotic through Trybala’s draughtsmanship. Like surreal expressions of the body, the hard becomes soft, the negative spaces are filled with corporeal markers. The surface becomes filled with a bather in a complete way, taking the traditional genre of the bather to its natural conclusion.


LOU HUBBARD (b. 1957)

Lives and works Naarm/Melbourne, VIC

'Sunday Best,' 2016, Colette all-nylon raincoat, bronze hook, 119 x 40 x 13 cm

Acquired by Artbank 2021

Lou Hubbard is a well-loved artists, educator and mentor. Hubbard often works with found objects. Following the legacy of surrealism she often places disparate objects together to create new resonances. There is no definitive meaning to this piece and it should be read as a tight imagist poem left for the audience to decipher. The Colette raincoat, found in other Hubbard pieces, is a quintessential staple of an Australian middle-class kit. Placed on an ornamental hook with a horse’s head, it brings both to life and turns the horse into an elegant person in their perfectly clean coat. The work functions on a point of recognition and familiarity, undercut by the strange. For the surrealists this might be a political attack but in the contemporary age Hubbard’s work reads as something a little more comedic and disarming than ironic or satirical. It is a dry humour that is distinctly her own.



Tiwi, Lives and works Milikapiti, Yermalner/Melville Island, NT

'Tiwi Jesus,' 2020, Natural ochres on canvas, 150 x 120 cm

Acquired by Artbank 2021

“For both my Tiwi people and my global family I want culture to be strong. If you don’t have culture, you fall and have to fight to reconnect. Without culture we are all lost…I hold the Western and Aboriginal law in my hands for all mankind to be equal. I have to balance both laws.

Jonathon combines painting techniques that reflect jilamara (Tiwi body paint design) with western motifs such as representations of political subjects pertinent to him and his community. Here he combines the iconography of Jesus with Tiwi sacred body decoration and headdress, including body paint and feather armbands. This hybridity is reflective of his sense of self as well as his key to looking toward the future for humanity.  


Iwantja Young Women’s Film Project

Women’s collective living and working Indulkana, APY Lands, SA

'Kungka Kuṉpu (Strong Women),' 2019, Digital media Duration 4 min 6 sec

Acquired by Artbank 2021

This playful celebration of contemporary life in the Indulkana community, located in the far north east of South Australia in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, is an inter-generational collaboration between artists Kaylene Whiskey, Leena Baker, Betty Muffler, and Leonie Cullinan. We meet the women of this thriving artistic community and are introduced to aspects of daily life and the women’s power to keep culture strong. Kaylene Whiskey’s characteristic pop star idols make an apperance, as she writes : “I’ve always loved watching my favourite pop stars on rage and I’m drawn to strong female performers like Tina Turner, Dolly Parton and Cher – they have the best outfits too… I love mixing these characters from TV into my paintings of everyday life here in Indulkana, like Wonder Woman might be looking for mingkulpa (native tobacco) or going hunting for malu (kangaroo).”




Kuninjku, Lives and works Maningrida, NT

'Lorrkon,' Ochre on Stringybark, 194 x 12 x 13cm

Acquired by Artbank 2020

Rosina Gunjarrwanga (b 1988) is an emerging artist from Maningrida Arts and the daughter of the much celebrated artist Susan Marrawarr. She paints the Wak Wak story for which she is djungkai (manager) for her clan.

Gunjarrwanga’s line work represents the black crow ancestor called Djimarr. The design was taught to the artist by her mother and has persisted in community despite the now rare practice of the Mardayin ceremony where it originates. Djimarr exists today in the form of a rock that lies at the bottom of a waterway at Kurrurldul. Gunjarrwanga’s thin, meticulous rarrk represents this sacred diamond shaped rock and its rippling reflection in the surrounding water.


SAM GOLD (b. 1987)

Lives and works Kaurna Yerta/Adelaide Plains, SA

'3 Votive Vessels,' 2021, Ceramic vessels, cobalt glaze, Dimensions variable

Acquired by Artbank 2021

Sam Gold is a leading contemporary ceramicist who uses traditional and non-traditional forms to create installations and atmospheres. This work is a grouping of three ‘votive vessels’. Stylistically they are very distinct and represent examples of Gold’s over emphasised pinch pot. The pinch becomes a decorative element rather than merely a structural technique of pressing on coil to the next. The gesture of the artist is also seen in the wonkiness and handmade nature of the asymmetry in the vessels. The vessels are votives, suggesting they are gifts to the gods thanking them for granted prayers, and in their simplicity allude to other sacral pots in the history of clay work most notably in Asia and India. The works equivocation between old and new, decorative and modern, votive sacral and secular, all mark the work as contemporary.


PHYLLIS DONEGAN (b. 1973, Milyirrtjarra/Warburton, Ngaanyatjarra Country WA)


'Tali Tjuta,' 2021, Blown glass & enamel, 29.5 x 17 Ø cm

Acquired by Artbank 2021


RUTH FATT (b. 1960, Granite Downs Station WA)


'Kuru Ala,' 2021, Blown glass & enamel, 33 x 15.5 Ø cm

Acquired by Artbank 2021


MONICA PUNTJINA WATSON (b. c1940, Pukara Rock Hole, close to Irrunytju WA)


'Pukara,' 2021, Blown glass & enamel, 24 x 20 Ø cm

Acquired by Artbank 2021

These works are part of a larger collaborative project which explored new materials and forms. The artists at Ninuku Arts, in Kalka in the far northwest of South Australia, painted designs usually found on canvas onto glass ‘starter bubbles’, which were then blown into larger forms by Jam Factory, Adelaide, glass artists.

In Watson’s work we see the motif of the grevillea. Pukara is an important rockhole in Western Australia, south west of Irrunytju (Wingellina). It is where the artist was born. The site is surrounded by kaliny-kalinypa (the honey grevillea plant), a type of bush lolly that sweetens the local water.

Ruth Fatt’s vessel is the story of Kuru Ala, which his connected to the Seven Sisters. Also connected to this large story is Phyllis Donegan’s Tali Tjuta (many sandhills). This is a sacred area where minyma (women) perform inma (women's ceremonies involving dancing and singing).



Left to right



'Pleasure Ground,' 2020, Oil on canvas, 112 x 138 cm

Acquired by Artbank 2021



Dulcie Nanala, Tossie Baadjo, Miriam Baadjo, Matthew West, Helicopter Tjungurrayi, Vincent Nanala, Jane Gimmie, Ann (Frances) Nowee, Helen Nagomara & Angie Topsy Tchooga

'Wirrimanu (Balgo) storys,' 2021, Acrylic on linen, 121.5 x 183 cm

Acquired by Artbank 2021



'Untitled,' 2021, Synthetic polymer and oil on canvas, 183 x 210 cm

Acquired by Artbank 2021




'Kame Seed Dreaming,' 2021, Acrylic on linen, 76.5 x 153 (triptych)

Acquired by Artbank 2021




'Untitled, 2021 , Acrylic on Belgian linen, 196 x 196 cm

Acquired by Artbank 2021