Dr Chrischona Schmidt
Chrischona is the Art Centre Manager. Prior to coming to Ikuntji Artists she completed her PhD research at the Research School of Humanities and the Arts, Australian National University focusing on the history of the Utopia art movement. Chrischona has worked for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, the National Museum of Australia, the Strehlow Research Centre and auction houses and galleries across Australia and overseas. Chrischona speaks fluently German and French, which greatly helps with overseas galleries and visitors.
Gordon Tjapananka Butcher
Gordon is our rockstar employee. As the founding member and drummer in the famous Warumpi Band alongside Sammy Butcher, George Rrurrambu and Neil Murray, he has travelled the world and toured Europe bringing happiness wherever he toured. But Gordon was born at Papunya and he lives here in Ikuntji with his wife, kids and grandkids. Gordon is a respected elder member of the community and used to be Land Council representative for the Western Area. As well as a musician he is a well known artist and woodcarver. Gordon works in the studio and maintenance of the art centre grounds and paints in his spare time.
Alison grew up in the outstation Kungkayunti/Brown’s Bore, which is her father’s country, situated two hour’s drive West of Haasts Bluff. For many years, Alison used to be the teacher’s aid at the Haasts Bluff Primary School. She is now a full time artsworker at the art centre. Alison also paints during most evenings at home in the company of her family. Alison is the cultural liaison at the art centre and everyone’s first point of contact for all intercultural questions and questions about Luritja culture. Together with Walter Jugadai she travelled to Korea in June 2014.
Christine was born in Ikuntji and has spent most of her life between Haasts Bluff/Ikuntji and Pukatja/Ernabella, where her husband is from. As an artsworker she is responsible for all the photographing, numbering and cataloguing of every artwork that passes through the art centre and is an accomplished user of the SAM database. Christine does not paint, but is an excellent photographer and won first prize in the Desart Artsworker’s Photography Prize in 2013.
Walter is an artsworker at the art centre, and is also a well known artist. His brother and him are famous for their carvings, and regularly make spears, boomerangs and men’s tools. He is also a painter and in 2014 he went with Alison Multa to Korea as part of the Artists Exchange Program. Walter is a repected man in the community and is also a night patrol officer, keeping the community safe.
As an artsworker Walter often stretches and primes canvases and works in the men’s area. In 2011 he went to Melbourne Art Fair to represent Ikuntji Artists.