Artist June Smith
Title Simpson Desert
Year 2022

Acrylic on linen

Dimensions 80 × 120 cm
Art Centre Keringke Arts →

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June Smith

June Smith’s mother was born at Ntaria (Hermannsburg) and her father at Undoolya Station. June grew up and attended school in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), and later came to Santa Teresa mission, now Ltyentye Apurte community. June was amongst the women who initially approached the mission staff for a place to work on their art and was amongst those who started working at the Keringke art centre after it was built in 1989. Drawing on contemporary life and modern influences June has created a unique language of symbols and motifs which represent her land, her family, herself. Early memories of her grandmother teaching stories including the Yalke story through sand drawing and singing have stayed with her. June has been Chair for several terms and her mentoring role of other artists is recognition of her as an elder and leader amongst her community.

Artist statement

The artists of Keringke Arts use pattern, colour, shape and design to create vibrant paintings that depict sense of Country, culture and self. Various painters have developed this style of painting at Keringke Arts over a twenty-year period, notable for intricate detail and high colour. The shapes and designs may have features common to ancient rock art and petroglyph designs found throughout Eastern Arrernte country. Other motifs reflect sand and body painting designs. Still others may reflect the stories and songs recounting the adventures of the ancestors who first travelled across the vast land making the earth as we know it today. In its contemporary form these designs on the canvas may not be attributed to any particular thing, holding the energy and vitality of the artist’s particular creative experience.