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The Purple House

This exhibition celebrates Pintupi artists and the 21st anniversary of the Western Desert Dialysis Appeal with eight historically significant artworks.
By Ben Hansen
October 22, 2021
By Ben Hansen
October 22, 2021

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is celebrating the legacy of Pintupi artists and the 21st anniversary of the Western Desert Dialysis Appeal with The Purple House, a new exhibition featuring eight historically significant artworks created between 1999 and 2015.

The West Desert Dialysis Appeal was held at AGNSW in 2000 and raised more than one-million dollars for Pintupi communities which led to the establishment of the community-controlled health service Purple House. The organisation provides dialysis care to communities across the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia.

Reflecting on the 2000 auction, Purple House director Irene Nangala said, "I was in Sydney for that auction 21 years ago. We were dreaming for one dialysis machine in Kintore so that our families could come home. It was a great night. We were all so proud and happy. People were very kind. The money raised that night helped us get our family home to Kintore and then we kept going and going."

This new free exhibition will see three of the four major collaborative work that were part of the West Desert Dialysis Appeal placed on public display for the first time in over 20 years. Works on display include the Kiwirrkura men's painting, which was painted by nine artists in 1999 and depicts a water site in Tjangimanta, north-east of Kiwirrkura; and Untitled (Two Goanna Ancestor), which portrays the travels of the goanna ancestors.

The exhibition is free and will run through until Sunday, February 27 2022. If you'd like to learn more about the exhibition and Purple House, you can also join the free online In the Frame talk on Tuesday, October 26 which will feature Chief Executive Officer of the Purple House, Sarah Brown, Pintupi artist Bobby West Tjupurrula and exhibition curator Coby Edgar.

If you want to donate to The Purple House, the organisation has just launched its Balgo Dialysis Appeal campaign.

Barney Campbell Tjakamarra, Charlie Tjapangati, George Tjapanangka, Hilary Tjapaltjarri, John John Bennett Tjapangati, Joseph Jurra Tjapaltjarri, Kenny Williams Tjampitjinpa, Morris Tjapaltjarri, Nolan Tjapangati, Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula, Willy Tjungurrayi, 'Kintore men's painting' 1999, synthetic polymer on canvas, 257 x 212 cm, Collection of Peter and Agnes Cooke

Top image: Installation view, featuring works by Patrick Olodoodi Tjungurrayi and Helicopter Tjungurrayi, from the exhibition The Purple House, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2021. Photo © AGNSW, Mim Stirling

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