Grandfather’s Story by Janice Kngwarreye Clarke
Janice Kngwarreye Clarke has painted a series of paintings on a story passed down to her by her grandfather. Grandfather’s Story is based on the traumatic Coniston Massacre of 1928 when Mounted Constable William Murray led a party of men who killed up to 70 people in a nine-day shooting rampage.
Janice Kngwarreye Morton, born in 1959, is the youngest daughter of Utopian artists Mary Kemarre and Billy (Stockman) Pitjara Morton. As part of the Alyawarr tribe she now lives at Rocket Range, on Utopia Station, with her sisters and extended family.
Together with her mother and sisters, she was involved in the important Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) batik-making community projects which resulted in Utopia – A Picture Story, 88 silk batiks from the Holmes a Court which toured throughout Australia. Her first foray into painting with acrylic on canvas began when CAAMA initiated Utopia Women’s Paintings the first works on canvas – A Summer Project.
Janice Kngwarreye Clarke is a painter and sculptor. Together with her late husband, Wally Pwerle Clarke she has produced a significant body of sculptural figures depicting the Conniston Massacre as well as football and ceremonial figures. Among her painting subjects, Janice paints Wild Flowers, Sweet Honey Grevillea (Tharrkarr), Rainbow (Mpwelarr) and Honey Ant (Yerramp).
Janice’s work is featured in the Robert Holmes a Court exhibition and collection which has toured extensively within Australia and overseas. Janice participated in the ‘Utopia Paintings, the First Works on Canvas, A Summer Project’ and ‘Utopia A Picture Story’ an exhibition of 88 works of silk.
Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs
The Holmes á Court Collection, Perth
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Art Gallery of South Australia