Colleen Kantawarra

Colleen Kantawarra

Language:LuritjaDate of birth:1970-02-04Community:Haasts Bluff

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Colleen is daughter of Anmanari Napanangka Nolan, an accomplished painter and one of the most important old ladies in Haasts Bluff. Colleen’s childhood in Papunya and later Haast’s Bluff was filled with days of hunting for bush tucker, a motif which is now richly represented in her works. Seeking out honey ants, bush bananas, bush tomatoes, bush onions, and bush berries as a child now informs the colors and shapes of Colleen Nakamara Kantawarra’s abstracted realism paintings, which suggest to the viewer a land of milk and honey, rather than the spinifex desert of our coastal understanding. Working also with traditional designs, Colleen again demonstrates the importance of bush tucker dreamings, or the many bush tucker tjukurrpas, which map the diverse varieties of edible plants and animals found in her country. Interpereting her stories, Colleen’s palette is rich and energised, often surprising, contemporary and deeply honest. Growing up in a family of painters, Collen was introduced to canvas and brush at an early age, and her dedication to her art is clearly visible in her works. One of the Ikuntji Artists’ Studios emerging artists Colleen Nakamara Kantawarra brings a fresh perspective to a deeply traditional artform.


  • Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation, Brisbane

Past Exhibitions

  • 'Story Necklace' exhibition, South Australian Museum 2020-12-17
  • Desert Mob Market Place 2018 2018-09-06
  • Desert Mob Marketplace 2017 2017-12-07
  • 11th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin NT 2017-08-11
  • Blak Markets at Barrangaroo, Sydney NSW 2017-07-01
  • One Country - Many Stories, Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane 2017-06-19
  • Ngurra Kutju - Tjukurrpa Tjuta, One Country - Many Stories, Exhibition at Colin Biggers & Paisley, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane 2017-06-19
  • Desert Mob, Alice Springs NT 2016-09-07
  • Entre terre et ciel, Savasse, France 2016-08-14
  • Chants du Desert - Art aborigene contemporain, La Chapelle du College dEu, Ville dEu, France 2016-06-09
  • WOMADELAIDE, Adelaide 2016-03-09
  • Kaléidoscope millénaire avec les artistes dIkuntji, Aboriginal Signature - Estrangin Fine Art, Brussels, Belgium 2015-11-18
  • Tarnanthi Festival Art Fair, Tandanya Institute. Adelaide 2015-10-08
  • Desert Mob, Alice Springs NT 2015-09-04
  • Artitja: The Gift Collection - Art + Objects 2014-12-11
  • Desert Mob, Araluen, Alice Springs NT 2010-12-31
  • Ochre Gallery, Melbourne vic 2010-12-31
  • Desert Sands Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Mayfair London, U.K., ‘Ikuntji’ 2008-12-31
  • Victoria Carroll and Jennifer Guerrini Maraldi, Battersea London, U.K., ‘Ikuntji’ 2007-12-31
  • Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane QLD, "Ikuntji Now" 2007-12-31
  • Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane, "Where The Wild Flowers Grow" 2006-12-31
  • Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London 2003-12-31
  • Ikuntji Languru, Darwin 2002-12-31
  • Desert Mob, Araluen, Alice Springs 2001-12-31