Still from Ngura Pukulpa – Happy Place
Still from Ngura Pukulpa – Happy Place
Image courtesy Kaylene Whiskey and Iwantja Arts, photograph by Max Mackinnon

Commissioned by Melbourne Art Foundation in partnership with ACMI

Kaylene Whiskey: Ngura Pukulpa – Happy Place



21 Feb – 10 Apr 2022

12–5pm weekdays | 10am – 5pm weekends

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.

Commission Partner

Event duration

8 mins


Gallery 3, Ground Floor
ACMI, Fed Square

How to get there

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.

Kaylene Whiskey in studio - cropped

Go behind the scenes

Kaylene Whiskey talks about her latest work and the joys of making art.

Watch the video
Kaylene Whiskey on the making of Ngura Pukulpa – Happy Place

On display at ACMI

Tina Turner in Coober Pedy

See Kaylene Whiskey's work – inspired by Tina Turner in Mad Max 3 – in the Moving Australia section of The Story of the Moving Image.

2018, acrylic on offset print, ACMI Collection

Learn more about the artwork
Tina Turner in Coober Pedy - cropped

From the ACMI Shop

Plan your visit

Read our COVIDSafe visitor guidelines, information on accessibility, amenities, transport, dining options and more.

Start planning

Looking for dining options?

As well as great coffee and snacks, our new restaurant features a seasonally driven menu developed by acclaimed Melbourne chef, Karen Martini.

Book a table | Learn more about Hero

You might also like

Blak women flipping the script

The Story of the Moving Image Online

Just as our predecessors picked up the pen for letter writing, Aboriginal women in the last 50 years have told their stories through film and television.

Explore the story of Blak Women on Screen
Kate ten Buuren, Curator, ACMI

The cast of the original stage show of Radiance - Rachael Maza, Lydia Miller & Rhoda Roberts, photographed in 1993 - Image via

Not an ACMI member yet?

Experience ACMI in the very best way. Get a range of discounts and invitations to exclusive previews.

A couple listens to interactive audio in the Moving Australia section of The Story of the Moving Image (image credit: Phoebe Powell)

Support your museum of screen culture