Kelly Dixon

Kelly Dixon

Kelly is the daughter of acclaimed artist Kumuntjai Nampitjinpa Dixon (dec) and Lindsay Tjapaltjarri (dec). Her mother’s sister is Inyuwa Nampitjinpa. Kelly is the granddaughter of Papunya Tula Artists founding member Uta Uta Tjangala (Kumuntjai’s stepfather). Uta Uta was central to the establishment of Papunya Tula Artists in 1972, where he painted continuously into the late 1980s. He also travelled extensively through the Western Desert in the 1970s, settling in Muyin outstation, west of Walungurru (Kintore) in the early 1980s.
Kelly was born in Lambara outstation, West of Warumpi (Papunya), in 1970. She first came to Ikuntji (Haasts Bluff) with her mother and father when she was four years old. Kelly primarily grew up in Ikuntji (Haasts Bluff), though has spent much time travelling. When she was a child, she moved between Yayayi, Warumpi and Ikuntji with her family. In the late 1970s, she was living with her family in Warumpi. Due to large migrations into the area, the Warumpi community was experiencing increasing problems with fighting and alcohol. The elder men of the community, including Kelly’s grandfather Uta Uta, had a meeting and decided to return to their country in Walungurru. This was part of the outstation movement.
When Kelly was 14, she remembers travelling from Warumpi to Yayayi, to Lambarra, Waruwiya, Watiyawanu, Nubo (West of Mt Liebig) and then back to Walungurru with her sister, Kathleen Dixon, and schoolteacher and former guitarist of Warumpi band, Neil Murray. She attended school at Yirrara College in Mpwernte (Alice Springs) before returning to Walungurru, and later to Ikuntji, where she has lived ever since. In her youth, she also travelled to Sydney with her mother and her niece from Kintore High School, to teach traditional women’s dancing to students there. She remembers teaching 18-year-old students to dance and to paint their bodies. When she was 20 years old, she travelled to Brisbane for the school holidays with her teacher, Jeff Malcombe. She remembers going shopping there and taking the train to Newmarket; the first time she had taken a train.

In 2012, she started painting for Ikuntji Artists, where she continues to work and paint today. Kelly paints her maternal grandmother’s Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) called Minjinperri, located East of Kintore. Kelly now works as an arts worker at Ikuntji Artists. She currently focuses her time on making jewellery from the native ininti seeds and gum nuts. She often spends hours delicately hand painting seeds to become necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

In 2018, Kelly successfully completed a Certificate I in Visual Arts through the Batchelor Institute in Alice Springs, where she learned to design and print fabric, both digitally and by hand. In the same year, Kelly’s designs were also featured in Parrtjima festival, being turned into large lanterns in their ‘Forest Space’ installation. Kelly has extensively travelled in her arts worker role with Ikuntji Artists to Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin and Adelaide.

Luritja

Haasts Bluff

Upcoming Exhibitions

Past Exhibitions

Group

  • 2024
    Parrtjima – A Festival in Light 2024, Alice Springs.
  • 2023
    Desert Mob, Araluen, Alice Springs NT
  • 2023
    Ikuntji Textiles, Central Craft, Alice Springs NT
  • 2023
    Jewellery Making Workshop, Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair 2023
  • 2023
    National Indigenous Art Fair, Sydney NSW
  • 2023
    Ikuntji Collection, Afterpay Australian Fashion Week, Sydney NSW
  • 2023
    Ikuntji Style, Artisan, Brisbane
  • 2022
    Ikuntji Textiles Exhibition, Central Craft, Alice Springs.
  • 2022
    ‘Nganana Tjungu – This is Us’, Songlines, Darwin.
  • 2020
    Story Necklace, South Australian Museum - Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery, Adelaide.
  • 2019
    Ikuntji Textiles, Central Craft, Alice Springs.
  • 2019
    Bush Bling Jewellery exhibition, Aboriginal Bush Traders, Darwin.
  • 2018
    Parrtjima – A Festival in Light 2018, Alice Springs.
  • 2018
    Desert Mob 2018, Araluen, Alice Springs.
  • 2017
    Desert Mob 2017, Araluen, Alice Springs.
  • 2017
    Blak Markets at Barrangaroo, Sydney.
  • 2017
    Ngurra Kutju - Tjukurrpa Tjuta, One Country - Many Stories, Exhibition at Colin Biggers & Paisley, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane.
  • 2016
    10th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin.
  • 2016
    Ikuntji Artists – Paintings from Haasts Bluff, Northern Territory, Jaktman Australian Contemporary Art Gallery.