About Ninbella / The Artists

Ninbella is a member of the Fair-Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand. Our main partner / supplier Better World Arts is an accredited member. To be a member is to go through an accreditation process that is transparent and assures the FTAANZ that we are following the 10 principals of Fair Trade.  Many of our suppliers are also endorsed by other Fair-Trade bodies (there is a worldwide network). We do not ask our suppliers to get endorsement if they do not have it because it is an expensive process. None of our suppliers are unfair traders, and the fair-trade idea can be followed by any organization.

Artists get generous royalties when their designs are used. The income stream that royalties provide to artists is significant and sustained. Artists can receive an income over many years, value adding to the original painting. It is normal for a design used to pay out many times the cash received for the original painting. When an artist passes away the royalties are then paid to next of kin which usually consists of a group of people.

Aboriginal communities from remote Australia have limited opportunities to engage in the mainstream economy in culturally appropriate ways. English is usually their 2nd or 3rd language, or not spoken at all. Aboriginal communities suffer a high level of disadvantage. Better World Arts has made payments directly to artists and art centres that now totals in the millions of dollars. This money goes directly into artists’ pockets. Our main supplier and supporter, Better World Arts continues to build upon the skills Aboriginal people have and turn these into cash that is regular and sustained.

Handicraft communities in Kashmir, India and Peru benefit economically and culturally. Again, these villages are usually remote and opportunities to earn cash are limited. Artisans are employed in rural tasks that are seasonal and vulnerable to good and bad weather cycles, pests and other problems that all farmers face. A strong handicraft industry alleviates the peaks and troughs in work load and cash returns, and provides income insurance for families. The handicrafts themselves are historical and unique to these particular regions.

The Artists

Cedric Varcoe

Ninbella Aboriginal Art Bangalow Australia About Artists Cedric Varcoe 01

Is a Ngarrindjeri man and lives with his wife and family of five children in regional South Australia, he is very strongly connected to his family, land and its waterways. Cedric’s Dreaming is ‘Nganauwe Ngarrindjeri Peggeralin (My Ngarrindjeri Country Dreaming)’.    When Ngurunderi (Spirit Man) came down the Murray River in his canoe, chasing the big Murray Cod, he formed the Murray River, Lakes and everything in Ngarrindjeri Country. He also made the Ngarrindjeri People, who live in the River Murray, the Lakes and Coorong. He taught everyone the lore, dance, song and everything they needed to survive and live day to day.  Cedric experiments with colour and line to evolve his work into a bold and flowing style, saturated with life and passion. He began painting from the age of eight, inspired by observing his mother, aunties, uncles and sister paint. He works mainly in acrylics on canvas and his subjects are usually “waterholes, fish, snakes and stylized male figures” (artist’s statement, 2008). Cedric is also exploring other areas of the visual arts including sculpture, printmaking and ceramics. He has won the Port Pirie Art Prize in 2009 and 2010 as well as more recently in 2013, the Malka Art Prize in Port Augusta and the Kadina Kernewek Lowender Art Prize in 2015. Cedric has been exhibiting since 1997, including participation in the Men of the Ngarrindjeri Exhibitions in the Murray Bridge Regional Gallery and the Frankston Art Centre in Victoria, Our Mob exhibitions touring throughout South Australia, and the Mpurlaarra Artists Group Exhibition at Tandanya among others. In 2015 a significant body of Cedric’s work was exhibited in Milan, Italy and in November 2016 in Hangzhou, China in an International Modern Art Exhibition involving artists from 22 countries. Cedric was the sole Australian artist. His work is included in private collections Internationally and Australia wide.


Malcolm Maloney Jagamarra

Ninbella Aboriginal Art Bangalow Australia About Artists Malcolm Maloney Jagamarra 01

was born at Aningie Station near Central Mount Stuart, N.T. His father was Gerry Maloney, an Irish Stockman and his mother Minnie Napanangka. As a child he travelled the land on walkabout with his Warlpiri mother who is also an established artist and whose artwork reflects her traditional lifestyle and cultural heritage.

Malcolm grew up in a socio-political climate in which during the 1950’s the ‘Australian Assimilation Program’ took part-aboriginal children away from their parents to foster them out to white families. Although his mother had tried to keep him hidden in the bush when they visited a white homestead, at the young age of six, Malcolm was removed from his mother’s care and taken to Adelaide where he spent the next eighteen years. In 1972, he matriculated from Adelaide Boys High School and three years later starred in League Football under the North Adelaide team.

In 1978, after many years away from his traditional upbringing Malcolm returned to his country Willowra and was re-united with his lost family members. In 1983 he underwent the initiation ceremonies of a boy moving into manhood that he had missed in his absence.

During this time Malcolm also learnt his people’s sacred songs and dances and the art which evolved from these ceremonies. His Dreamings are numerous including Inupuku [Lake Surprise], Jardiwanpa (Fire), Warna (Snake), Yarriprir (Green Snake), Ngapa (water), Ngatijirri (Budgerigar), Napaljarri-warna (Seven Sisters), Wulyparrari (Milky Way), Wardapi (Goanna), Marlu (Rock Kangaroo), Purruparnta (Frog), Ngarlkirdi (Tree Witchety Grub), Wanakiji and Yakajirri (Bush Tomato), Yarla (Bush Potato), Marnakiji (Bush Lantana), Marlpa (Beans), Pirli-ngawurrpa (Rock Wallaby).


Gloria Tamerre Petyarre

Ninbella Aboriginal Art Bangalow Australia About Artists Gloria Tamerre Petyarre 01

Was born 1938, Mosquito Bore, Utopia, Northern Territory and is an Australian Aboriginal artist from the Anmatyerre community, just north of Alice Springs. In 1999, the Australian magazine Art Collector called her “one of our most collectable indigenous artists”. As of 2014, her overall career rank on the Australian Indigenous Art Market was 13.

She paints an original subject titled Leaves as well as Body Paint Designs and several Dreamtime stories such as Pencil Yam, Bean, Emu and Mountain Devil Lizard and Small Brown Grass. Her paintings – monochromatic or multi-coloured – have well defined segments filled with curved lines. Her style is known for its abstract fields and bright colours.

Petyarre won the Wynne Prize in 1999 with Leaves, being the first Aboriginal person to win one of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’s major prizes. She travelled to Ireland, England and India in 1990 as part of the Utopia – A picture story exhibition. She held her first solo exhibition in 1991. She is represented in Australian galleries such as the National Gallery of Australia. She is the niece of Emily Kngwarreye and the younger sister of Kathleen Petyarre, who are among our most famous artists. She is also represented with a work in the British Museum, London, Gloria is an artist who has grown in self-assuredness over the years, especially since emerging from behind her more famous aunt Emily Kngwarreye. She takes pride in the integrity and quality of her work which has ensured her success. The same knowledge and vision that enriches her work sustains her as a person as she travels the world today, participating in significant exhibitions and projects, such as the mural at the Kansas City Zoo, which she designed and executed with her husband Ronnie Price. Though holding firmly to her Aboriginal traditions, Gloria continually expands upon them in her art, moving beyond the literal to create images that radiate their own integrity, thereby confirming her important place in Australia’s current contemporary art scene. UK.


Marlene Young Nungurrayi

Ninbella Aboriginal Art Bangalow Australia_About Artists Marlene Young Nungurrayi 01

Language Pintupi. Region Tjukurla. Marlene Young was born in 1973. Her main dreaming stories include important Women’s Dreamings and their associated body paint designs.

Marlene’s use of bright colours is one of her trademarks coupled with thick layered paint, distinctive of the Kintore region.

Her paintings depict the journey path of “Kungka Kutjara” travelling women and their journey towards the site of Munni Munni south east of Kintore NT. Marlene is married to Adrian Young Tjupurrula. Her father was the famous Tommy Lowry Tjalpatjarri and her adopted father is the equally famous Doctor George Tjalpatjarri. In turn these family members are connected to several famous artists including, Nosepeg Tjupurrula, Fred Ward Tjungurrayi, Turkey Tolson and many others.


Lisa Pula Mills

Ninbella Aboriginal Art Bangalow Australia About Artists Lisa Pula Mills 01

Language: Alyawarr. Region: Irrwelty, Utopia, Northern Territory. Born in 1970 on MacDonnell Downs Station Lisa Pula Mills is the daughter of renowned Utopian artist, Dolly Mills. She paints her mother’s dreaming, Emu (Aherr) Tucker & Bush Potato (Anaty) Dreaming – with the semi abstract work depicting the patterns of the foliage and growth of the sacred Bush Potato bush across her country.

Lisa, Shakira (daughter) and her husband Damien Petrick (son of well-known Utopian painter Josie Petrick) live a very traditional Aboriginal life on their homelands. Lisa first started painting in 2006 and has had participated, with her works, in various group exhibitions throughout Australia. She has also been exhibited and collected in Milan, Italy 2015 and in Hangzhou, China in November 2016.