Arts / Huge painting unveiled at Parliament House

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President of the Senate, Senator Scott Ryan, left, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tony Smith.
A huge  collaborative painting by women artists from the Spinifex Arts Project in remote WA  has been acquired by the Parliament House Art Collection.

The work – “Kuru Ala, or The Home of the Seven Sisters”– was unveiled this morning June 28) by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tony Smith, and the President of the Senate, Senator Scott Ryan.

A collaboration by artists Myrtle Pennington, Ngalpingka Simms, Kanta Donnegan, Jennifer Mitchell and Tjaruwa Woods, the work explores the story of the Seven Sisters, a major Western Desert songline and sacred women’s story and a subject regularly explored by indigenous artists from across central Australia, recently seen in the “Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters” exhibition  at the National Museum of Australia.

MP Linda Burney and Aunty Jannette Phillips this morning
The women artist of the Spinifex Arts Project are based in the Tjuntjuntjara community in the Great Victoria Desert.

The painting acquired is the fourth major acquisition of a work by indigenous artists by the Parliament House Art Collection in recent years and the unveiling this morning was part of the official launch of the Parliament House program of events for NAIDOC Week, July 8 – 15, which will include school-holiday film screenings, a special indigenous-themed tour of Parliament House and two exhibitions.

NAIDOC Week at Parliament House, details at

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Helen Musa
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