Tolarno Galleries now representing Kieren Karritpul

Melbourne gallery picks up young Ngen’giwumirri artist and 2021 Ramsay Art Prize finalist.

Words: Charlotte Middleton

Melbourne’s Tolarno Galleries has this week announced its representation of Kieren Karritpul (b. 1994), a Ngen’giwumirri artist hailing from the small community of Nauiyu (Daly River) south west of Darwin.

Living amongst a community of artists including his mother Patricia McTaggart Marrfurra AM, Karritpul works across painting, printmaking, fabric design and ceramics. As a Ngen’giwumirri man, Karritpul is not permitted to weave, and instead paints magnified views of woven objects and fibres. In making art, he is able to reimagine totems and dreamings and connect with his ancestry.

Having harboured an ambition to become an artist since the age of five, Karritpul won the inaugural Youth Award at the Telstra NATSIA Awards in 2014. In 2020, he went on to win the National Indigenous Fashion Award for Textile Design, resulting in a collaboration with Country Road homewares that showcased his skill in storytelling, use of movement and breathtaking colours.

In 2021, Karritpul was a Ramsay Art Prize finalist, with his work titled Weaving Myself: the Landscape and the Land currently on view at Art Gallery of South Australia. The work presents a magnified view of the woven surface that stands for the lands and landscape of his Country, partly painted with a brush made of his own hair.

Karritpul’s work is held in several major collections including National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Museum of Applied Arts and Social Sciences, Sydney and Artbank. He is the youngest Director ever appointed to the Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists (ANKAAA).

A young leader in his community, Karritpul continues his promise to his mother and ancestors each day: to tell, reinterpret and visualise his landscape and culture to the world, through art.

Tolarno Galleries will present a Kieren Karritpul solo exhibition in 2022.

This article was originally published 13 August 2021.

Image: Installation view: Kieren Karritpul, Weaving Myself: the Landscape and the Land; Ramsay Art Prize 2021, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. Photo: Saul Steed.

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