A: 9 Paterson St, Tennant Creek, NT
P:+61 8 8 9632150
NYINKKA NYUNYU is an Aboriginal governed art and culture centre supported by Julalikari Council Aboriginal Corporation. It offers visitors an opportunity to learn about Aboriginal life, history and land in the Tennant Creek region. The centre’s retail gallery and exhibition space displays a sophisticated and authentic array of traditional and contemporary artworks, crafts and literature. It’s mission is to develop culture and strengthen it’s identity, sharing an understanding of Warumungu knowledge, principles, people, and history.
Tennant Creek is 1000kms south of Darwin and 500kms north of Alice Springs. Located on the main road into Tennant, Nyinkka’s precinct is unique for it’s architecture, museum, gallery, bushfood landscaping and for caretaking a Warumungu sacred site on its grounds. Nyinkka Nyunu holds regular culture evenings showcasing traditional dancing and cultural practices. It also hosts Warumungu language classes, openings, performances, movie nights and other community events. The most recent included pujjali (men’s dancing) and a baby smoking ceremony. Nyinkka Nyunu artists and staff have presented at conferences, symposiums and art festivals, as well as participating in exhibitions and short film productions. Nyinkka’s artist collective, the Tennant Creek Brio, was recently chosen to participate in Nirin 2020, the 22nd Biennale of Sydney.
Image: Tennant Creek Brio, We are the Living History, 2020. Installation view for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, Cockatoo Island. Photo: Alex Robinson. Courtesy: Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre.
ARTIST SHOWCASE: TENNANT CREEK BRIO
THE TENNANT CREEK Men’s Art Program started in 2016 as an art therapy and outreach program set up by Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation. The group, a mix of fringe dwellers and cultural leaders have continued to work together and often collaboratively, forming a unique and cutting edge artists collective named The Brio. Their work pushes conventions, drawing on imagery and traditions from the Wirnkarra (Dreaming), the Old Testament and mythic iconography from around the world. Their action paintings and performance represent the enthusiasm and dedication of the collective as they continue to develop a cathartic visual language fuelled by the complexities of life in Tennant Creek.
In early 2020, The Tennant Creek Brio participated in Australia’s biggest international art event, the Sydney Biennale. The year’s theme was Nirin, meaning edge in the Wiradjuri language. The Brio, along with a team of singers and dancers from Tennant Creek, performed pujjali for the opening events at both Cockatoo Island and at Artspace in. Creating art from a combination of re- purposed materials found in and around Tennant Creek, the Brio exhibited a range of experimental video works, as well as their characteristically electrifying multi-media paintings. Many of their works explore the psychological, historical and present influences that shape the lives and identities of Aboriginal men living in Tennant Creek, while other works are painterly masterpieces with their own internal narratives of magic, creation and catharsis.
Artists include: Clifford Thompson, Fabian Brown, Jimmy Frank Jnr, Joseph Williams, Matthew Ladd, Marcus Camphoo, Lindsay Nelson, Rupert Betheras, Simon Wilson.