Ikuntji Artists was first established in 1992 as a Women’s centre. From humble beginnings producing acrylic paintings on linen and handmade paper, the artists quickly gained the attention of the Australian and international art world. The focus changed from a women’s centre to an art centre in 2005 with the incorporation of the art centre as Ikuntji Artists Aboriginal Corporation. Ikuntji Artists are represented in many national & international galleries.

Maisie Ward

Maisie Ward Nungurrayi was born in Papunya in 1975. Her mother was a Luritja woman from Papunya who was a well known artist and her father, Dr George Ward Tjapaltjarri was a Ngangkari or medicine man. Maisie grew up with her parents and grandmother teaching her the stories of their country. She started painting in Warakurna when she was visiting her auntie Pulpurra Davies and has been painting intermittently with Ikuntji Artists since 2014. Massie paints “stories from her mothers and father’s country”. Maisie Ward is married to Patrick Donovan Jangala Brown, and she has one son, and one grandson. Maisie is connected to some of the major figures of the early Papunya arts movement, with her older brothers being among the first artists to paint for the Papunya Tula arts cooperative in the early 1970s.

Kathleen Dixon

Kathleen Dixon is the daughter of renowned artist Alice Nampitjinpa Dixon and granddaughter of Uta Uta Tjangala. Lindsay Dixon was her father and his country was west of Nyrripi, Ipa (snake Dreaming). His mother and Kathleen’s grandmother was Tatuli Nangala, she inherited the Tjukurrpa from her. The tjukurrpa (Dreaming) is about women sitting down near Kintore and hunting in that area. Sometimes Kathleen also paints her mother’s country of Talaalpi.

Jeannie Wareenie Ross

Jeannie is the older sister of Sandra Turner and mother of Francis Marshall, both painters at Ikuntji Artists. Jeannie and Sandra lives between Mt Liebig and Haasts Bluff, often painting together at Ikuntji Artists. Jeannie’s father’s country and Tjukurrpa is Watiyawanu (Mt Liebig), Warlpiri country, located on the Western edge of the McDonnell ranges (West of Haasts Bluff). Jeanni paints water dreaming at Watiyawanu, woman’s hunting story and bush medicine and flowers. Jeannie remembers when her father taught her about Watiyawanu, they have both been painting that for a long time on canvas. 

Sam George Tjapanangka

Sam George Tjapanangka, was born West of Kintore in Pintupi country in the bush in 1950. This is the country of his mother and father and is known as the Emu country. It is from this Pintupi country that he paints the Kalaya Tjukurrpa (Emu Dreaming). This Tjukurrpa was passed down to him from his parents who taught him how to draw it in the sand. Sam has been painting for many years and his work depicts the travels and ceremonies of his people. Sam’s father, Ratji, had two wives. His mother was Mitchikala and his father’s second wife was Katarra Nampitjinpa, an important Pintupi artist who painted originally with the Papunya Tula Artists and then later with Ikuntji Artists. One of Sam’s sisters, Kutungka Napanangka became a successful painter in her time, painting for Ikuntji Artists and exhibiting in Australia and overseas. His other sister, Permungka, had been painting for years before Sam and Kutungka began. It was her, along with other family members, who first taught him how to paint. Sam first began painting at Ikuntji Artists in the early 1990s when it first opened.