At the Philips Collection – one of the great bastions of 20th century modernism – Regina’s work made the works of Rothko and Ellsworth Kelly look positively provincial. Here was a woman from across the world beating them at their own game, asserting the primacy and power of Peppimenarti contemporaneity.
Regina Pilawuk Wilson is a Ngan’gikurrungurr woman from the Daly River region in the Northern Territory. She is a celebrated artist, fierce advocate for Durrmu Arts and the Indigenous arts sector, and the founder of the Peppimenarti community – the permanent settlement for the Ngan’gikurrungurr people since 1973.
The location of Peppimenarti is an important dreaming site for the Ngan’gikurrungurr language group and informs Regina’s art and weaving practices – skills she inherited from her grandmother and mother. After attending the Contemporary Art Biennale (Pacific Arts Festival) in 2000, Regina began painting at a workshop conducted by Karen Brown in 2002, transferring her weaving knowledge – the designs and patterns – onto canvas, including syaw (fish-net), wupun (basket), string bags, wall mats and sun mats.
Regina has exhibited her paintings widely since – both nationally and internationally – and was the recipient of the General Painting category at the Telstra National Indigenous and Torres-Strait Islander Award in 2003. Her works are held in significant public and private collections both in Australia and overseas.
Regina is also a Cultural Support Officer with Durrmu Arts. She was instrumental in the art centre’s establishment and continued strength and success. Regina is also a judge for the Telstra NATSIAA awards, and sits on the board of the Indigenous Art Code.
Landscape image (top) credit: Durrmu Arts