10 – 17 August 2019

Opening Fri 9 Aug 3pm at Tactile Arts Gallery



Myrtle was born c. 1939 in the vicinity of a rock hole called Kanpa in central Spinifex. The rockhole itself is a point along a highly sensitive senior Men’s tjukurpa which Myrtle would not have seen or drawn water from. Myrtle’s journey out of Spinifex to Cundeelee Mission in the late 1950’s was particularly tragic for Myrtle and her family (a son and husband perished on the trip). Myrtle, with another son and daughter, were eventually located by Australian servicemen from an army base at Neale’s Junction, who held them until Cundeelee Mission staff arrived to take the family to Cundeellee. The story of Myrtle’s flight from the British atomic testing range at Maralinga was to become key evidence tendered to Royal Commission into the British Nuclear Tests in Australia in 1984 and sadly Myrtle had to re-live the tragic events. Myrtle and her surviving son and daughter were awarded individual compensation from the Australian Government. Myrtle did not paint on the Women’s Native Title painting and gradually came into the Project through Women’s collaborative art. She was mostly an occasional painter until the past decade when almost overnight she developed a most striking, minimal style with bold symbols that leap out against a vividly plain background. Myrtle continues to paint regularly, seemingly unaffected by others styles evolving around her.Myrtle's work features in major collections around Australia and internationally.


Image credit: Spinifex Arts Project


 Tactile Arts Gallery

19 Conacher St, Fannie Bay, NT

Gallery hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 10am - 4pm