Jennifer Mintiyi Connelly (Ward)
Jennifer was born at Mulga Park, a cattle station just over the border from the APY Lands in the Northern Territory.
Jennifer spends much of her time travelling between Pipalytjara community in the APY Lands to Warburton on the Ngaanyatjarra lands, stopping in the communities between to stay with family and paint at the various art centres. Much of her family lives in Pipalytjara, Kalka and Wingellina, just East of Blackstone.
Jennifer has been painting on canvas for a long time and has a lot of confidence in her story telling. Her refined and expressive application of paint often appears as a marvel of melting colours and tones. Her striking craftsmanship and use of symbolism tells stories of strong women (Seven Sisters), the land, the desert and dreamtime.
Major Work: In 2016 Jennifer created a tjanpi (grass) female sculptural figure – one of the Seven Sisters of the Tjukurpa (ancestral creation stories) – for the extraordinary multi-faceted National Museum of Australia Songlines exhibition that was on display at the NMA in Canberra from September 2017 to February 2018. The sculptures can see online as actual objects and have also been digitised as characters in a video.
The Tjanpi Desert Weavers created these sculptures with artists from Papulankutja, in the Blackstone Ranges between the Western and Great Victoria deserts. During a two-week camp at Kuru Ala, a remote Seven Sisters site in Western Australia, 14 tjanpi weavers wove the sisters into life. They then moved to a campsite just outside Papulankutja to finish the tjanpi sisters. Each figure was made by two artists. For many of the figures, a senior artist paired with a younger emerging artist so that the act of creation was also one of passing on skills to a future generation of tjanpi artists.
Further Artist Information
Community: Mantamaru (Jameson) : WA