1996, ‘Australia's Indigenous Creations Gallery Best Female Artist
Joanne was born in Port Hedland, WA in 1972. From there she was
made a Ward of the State and moved to Kununurra in the North of WA.
Joanne's father, a grader driver in the Papunya area, tracked her
down and picked her and her brother Joe, up and took them back to
Papunya where they lived out of a caravan, following their father
and mother, grading the roads throughout the desert areas of Papunya,
Yuendumu, Mt Liebig, Haasts Bluff and Kintore.
Joanne learned to paint from her Mother, Pansy Napangardi, one of
the best female Aboriginal artists in Australia. Joanne used to sit
down on the end of the canvas as a little girl and help her mother
with her paintings, learning her mother's dreamings from an early age.
Joanne left the desert area at the age of 16 and moved to Katherine
to attend school. From there she travelled to Alice Springs to be with
their mother Pansy and to finish her schooling. Whilst in Alice
Springs she continued to learn more from her mother about painting
and started to produce some paintings of her own.
When Joanne turned 17, she left Alice Springs travelling to Broome,
Kalgoorlie, Kununurra, Katherine and finally settling back in Alice
Springs where she got a job working for CAAMA at the Aboriginal
shop selling art work. She started producing more works in this
period selling them to the local art dealers in Alice Springs.
Some of her paintings ending up in galleries in Sydney.
In 1994 Joanne moved to Katherine again then on to Darwin where she
lives today. She has her own business called Gwarli Nangala and has
a stall at the Mindil Beach Markets in Darwin, and sells her art to
buyers in Melbourne and Sydney. She won the ‘Australia's Indigenous
Creations Gallery Best Female Artist for 1996' award and her art work
is sold in Holland and Germany.
Joanne paints in acrylic on canvas as well as fine art works on
didgeridoos, boomerangs, music sticks and emu eggs.
Joanne produces fine examples of aboriginal art and paints in the
distinctive 2-colour style pioneered by her mother, Pansy and the
colours in her paintings represent the colours of the bush as she
sees them and remembers them from her extensive travels as
a young girl. Joanne's paintings are from her mother's dreamings
and include Kunga Kutara, Kunga Tjutor and Wanabu Water Snake.
Joanne's skin name is Nangala and she speaks fluent Luritja
and understands a few other Aboriginal languages. She remains
true to her Aboriginal traditions and is fast becoming a popular
artist among collectors all over the world.
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