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30 November 2004 until 18 December 2004
Savandhary Vongpoothorn, Velvet field, 2004, Colour pencils and acrylic on perforated canvas 165 x 290.5 cm
  Niagara Galleries

Niagara Galleries
245 Punt Road
3121 Richmond, VIC
Australia (city map)

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tel +61 (0)3 - 9429 3666

Niagara Galleries

is pleased to present two exciting exhibitions this month

30 November 18 December 2004

Please join us for opening drinks on
Tuesday 7 December 2004 at 6.00pm



A Certain Distance


Samuel Namunjdja began painting in the late 1980s. He is part of the Kuninjku language group and belongs to the Yirridjdja moiety. He was born in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory in 1965 and has lived in Mankorlod, Oenpelli and Maningrida. He paints with ochre on bark, rag paper and poles. He comes from an artist family. His father, Peter Marralwanga, taught him how to paint the stories of his clan.

Samuel's knowledge of animals such as bonbon (diver duck) and yibba (frog), and spirit figures such as Mimi and Ngalyod (Rainbow serpent) are apparent in the paintings. The detailed brush work builds a story of the histories and spirituality of Arnhem land.

Samuel's work has been included in important exhibitions and received a number of significant accolades over the last fifteen years. In 1993 he received the Rothmans Foundation Award for best painting in a traditional media at the National Aboriginal Art Awards. His entry for the 2003 Telstra Aboriginal Art Awards was commended by the judges for, "it's exquisite patterning and controlled energy". His work has been included in the Living together is easy exhibition which is showing at the Contemporary Art Centre, Art Tower Mito, Japan and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne in 2004. His work can also be seen in the major group exhibition Crossing Country organised by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. A solo exhibition of his work will be held at Niagara in December this year.

Since first exhibiting in Sydney in 1992, Savanhdary Vongpoothorn has carved out an enviable reputation. Her work is keenly sought by collectors. The ideas she has developed in her finely textured abstract work commands respect from writers, critics and her artistic peers.

Savanhdary creates her delicate paintings by puncturing the surface of her canvas with pin pricks and gradually building up layers of paint from the front and back of the work. Savandhary utilises diverse elements; tartan, Laotian textiles, Buddhist mandalas, Minimal abstraction and Aboriginal art. These influences are fused on the canvas.

Savanhdary was born in Laos in 1971 and arrived in Australia with her parents when she was 8 years old. She returned to Laos for the first time in 1996 and until then, her childhood there had been 'more like a dream than a reality.' A finalist in the Moet & Chandon art prize in 1998, Savanhdary's work is included in important public and private collections, including the Queensland Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Australia.

A Certain Distance fully illustrated colour catalogue is available

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