Aboriginal Contemporary and Ernabella Arts are thrilled to present ‘Walytjara Minyma Lionel’ (Lionel Ladies), a formidable family exhibition by sisters Rachael and Alison Lionel and their mother, acclaimed senior Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands) artist, Yurpiya Lionel.
Featuring 12 stunning new works, the exhibition opens on Saturday March 11th at Bronte based gallery, Aboriginal Contemporary.
“Last year the sisters’ exhibition sold out prior to opening and the new show has been much anticipated,” says Nichola Dare, owner of Aboriginal Contemporary. Central to this exhibition, with the exciting addition of the works of Yurpiya, is the artists’ love of family and painting. It celebrates the Lionel family’s pride in continuing matriarchal traditions and their commitment to artistic practice.
Breaking new ground while respecting old traditions, Rachael and Alison centralise the techniques they learned from their mother and grandmother as children with a uniquely contemporary interpretation. As Rachael reflects, “I’m always thanking my grandmother that she taught us by giving us knowledge. Pantjiti Lionel, my mother’s mother was special to me and I followed her. Every time I paint I think of Yurpiya’s mother and I feel joyful and I feel grateful to her for teaching me and showing me the way.”
Rachael is a nocturnal artist, painting experiences from her dreams, while Alison reimagines natural wonders through close up views, her paintings are inspired by the light catching the shifts and wandering lines of the bark. “I see the colour on the tree and I see it is always changing. When the sun is going down, colour is moving all over the tree,” says Alison.
Yurpiya has captured the attention of the art world with her depictions of ‘Anumara’, Yurpiya’s family country near Irrunytju (wingelluna) in Western Australia. ‘Anumara’ also refers to the species of caterpillar for which Anumara is the tjukurpa (dreaming) place. The place shares the same colours of the caterpillar – brown, yellow and pale green. Yurpiya is the dauther of Pantjiti Lionel (now deceased), a very senior Pitjantjatjara woman and artist, and has exhibited many times both nationally and internationally.
Following their sell-out exhibition with Aboriginal Contemporary last year, Rachael and Alison will be in Sydney for the first time to talk about the new collection, “We are delighted to welcome Rachael and Alison to the gallery for their highly anticipated new show,” says Nichola. “The Lionel sisters are at the forefront of a new generation of Aboriginal artists forging contemporary and dynamic artistic expression, it’s been incredible to witness their journey so far.”
Alison and Rachael Lionel
‘Walytjara Minyma Lionel’ (Lionel Ladies) opens on Saturday 11th March 2023 from 10 am – 4pm and will be on display until 25th March 2023.
· Location: Aboriginal Contemporary Gallery, 254 Bronte Road, Waverley, 2024
· Artist talks: Saturday March 11th
For more information visit www.aboriginalcontemporary.com.au