Yankunytjatjara artist Kaylene Whiskey envisions a world where pop culture collides with traditional Anangu culture.
Commissioned by Melbourne Art Foundation in partnership with ACMI, Ngura Pukulpa – Happy Place, evolves Whiskey’s practice by bringing her dazzling artistry and celebration of sisterhood to the screen. At its centre is Whiskey, a dancing queen with an entourage of seven kungka kunpu (strong women) from her community in Indulkana, who act as back-up for a superstar tearing through red-sand roads in a Toyota Land Cruiser. Along for the party are actual superheroes and superstars – Wonder Woman and Tina Turner materialise in Whiskey’s live-action dreamscape, appearing via vivid animation rendered in her lively, singular style.
About Kaylene Whiskey
The paintings of Kaylene Whiskey incorporate pop culture references alongside traditional Anangu culture, in a playful interpretation of the artist’s personal experience of contemporary life in a remote Central Australian Indigenous community.
Kaylene’s practice links the traditional culture of her community’s Elders with the experience of the younger generation who have grown up with contemporary, outside influences like Coca Cola and music videos.
Kaylene paints iconic figures such as Dolly Parton and Tina Turner, in a celebration of heroic women and the sisterhood. These pop culture icons are frequently painted into remote desert community landscapes, interacting with native plants and wildlife and engaging in traditional Anangu activities like hunting, collecting bush tucker and cultivating mingkulpa (native tobacco plant). Painted to a soundtrack of classic rock, pop and country music, Kaylene Whiskey’s paintings are rich in irreverent humour, with the artist bringing together two very different cultures and generations, inviting everyone to come together to have some fun.
Kaylene Whiskey works at Iwantja Arts Centre in Indulkana and is represented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.
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