A JamFactory Icon - Kunmanara Carroll

11th January 2022
Exciting mix of indigenous art, painted ceramics, textiles and paintings

The Millicent Gallery has been very fortunate to secure another JamFactory Exhibition:  A JamFactory Icon – Kunmanara Carroll.

Council's Manager Libraries and Gallery, Janice Nitschke welcomes visitors to this exhibition stating "It is an exciting mix of indigenous art – painted ceramics, textiles and paintings".

In 2009, Kunmanara Carroll commenced his artistic practice at the Ernabella Arts Centre as a painter, and in 2011 transitioned to ceramics. He quickly established himself as one of the art centre’s most senior and revered practitioners, deeply committed to his custodial responsibilities of Luritja / Pintupi Country. Kunmanara Carroll’s captivating paintings and ceramics merge his deep knowledge of Country with a distinctively intricate and minimalist style. Through his stoneware ceramics, paintings and tapestry, the late Luritja / Pintupi / Pitjantjatjara artist pays loving tribute to the land, his family and roots—from Pukatja, South Australia, all the way up north to Kintore, Northern Territory, and west to Kiwirrkura, Western Australia: his custodial lands.

Carroll’s remarkable work is shown in Ngaylu Nyanganyi Ngura Winki (I Can See All Those Places), a major solo exhibition, as a part of the JamFactory’s ICON series. Carroll is the first Indigenous artist to be celebrated as a part of the series.

The exhibition commenced touring in 2021 and will tour to 12 venues around the country, and is accompanied by a monograph, published by Wakefield Press. The artist’s story is an extraordinary one. Born in Ikuntji (Haasts Bluff) in the Northern Territory, at the age of 19, Carroll moved to Pukatja. After retiring from a long career as the town’s constable, he turned to art. Encouraged by then-owner Julian Green to start making marks on paper, it became quickly apparent that Carroll was something special.

“He had a very distinct style straight away,” says Mel George, who until recently was the manager of Ernabella Arts, and worked closely with Carroll and the JamFactory on this stunning exhibition. “Some makers you have to really push, and some people just get it. He just had it. He did very subtle work that is compositionally beautiful, and his mark-making was unique.” From there, Carroll’s career and profile grew. He was shortlisted for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards for four years running, and his work, both solo and collaborative, is held in national and international collections.

In 2017, along with fellow Ernabella artist Derek Jungarrayi Thompson and curator Luke Scholes, Carroll returned to Kintore and Kiwirrkura for the first time since his adolescence. Connecting with senior Pintupi men to learn more about his heritage, the landscapes and their natural features, became a prominent source of artistic inspiration. “He was interested in telling stories of his family’s Country,” says George. “In some ways, he thought about these places and thought like this all of his life but hadn’t necessarily translated them into a visual form.”

Carroll’s influence on his community was shown not only in his artistic output, but through his leadership and vision—he brought more of the younger generation into Ernabella Arts and encouraged more young men to join what has historically been a largely female-led craft discipline.  "He was an inherent leader, he was loved and adored by everyone in that community” George says.

This Exhibition will be held at the Millicent Gallery from Tuesday, 11 January 2022 to 22 February 2022.  It will be open during Library Hours i.e. 9.00 am to 5.30 pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; 9.00 am to 8.00 pm on Friday and 9.00 am to 12 noon on Saturday. Additionally, it will be open from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm on Sunday.


For further information please contact:

Janice Nitschke, Manager Libraries & Cultural Services

Email: library@wattlerange.sa.gov.au

Telephone: (08) 8733 0903