BASKETS AND BIRDS: Janine McAullay Bott and Kukula McDonald

Two indigenous artists working in vastly different mediums will be exhibiting their work in South Fremantle at Artitja Fine Art’s October Baskets and Birds exhibition – a quirky show of birds including cockatoos, kookaburras and willy wagtails “ both painted and woven.

From red desert country in Papunya in the Northern Territory young artist Kukula McDonald paints her revered orange tailed black cockatoo whilst closer to home in suburban Perth Nyoongar fibre textile artist and bush sculptor Janine McAullay Bott uses palm fronds, coolabah seed pods and plant materials to bring to life local species of birds including the black cockatoo. Both are accomplished indigenous artists with impressive career profiles.

A young woman in her 20’s Kukula McDonald works in Alice Springs through Bindi Inc, a cross cultural human rights organisation which provides support in lifestyle and employment options. Mostly confined to a wheelchair Kukula has a keen and extensive knowledge of wheelchair brands, styles, colours and accessories. It is said that Kukula can spot a wheelchair brand at a pace even when she’s out bush! says Anna Kanaris from Artitja Fine Art whose exhibition opens on Thursday 15th October. This quirky nature of Kukula’s and her attention to detail transposes into her art and gives a vitality to her paintings which are so lifelike you can almost hear the birds calling!

That same attention to detail is evident in the intricate and stunning bush sculptures created by Nyoongar fibre textile artist Janine McAullay Bott who in August this year was awarded the prestigious Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Award at the 26th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in the Northern Territory. Janine uses palm fronds, nuts and seeds to create extraordinary weaves which bear a connection to her culture and convey her family stories.

Artitja Fine Art has been representing Janine since 2006 after we invited her to be the 3D exhibitor in our show. We didn’t realise at the time that she would become a permanent exhibitor with us so you can imagine how delighted we were that in that time her profile has lifted and she has now been acknowledged as one of Australia’s top three-dimensional artists, Kanaris said.

Artitja Fine Art Directors Anna Kanaris and Arthur Clarke operate a home based gallery in South Fremantle, which is open by appointment daily. They also hold up to four exhibitions a year in a gallery space, ensuring that a wider Perth audience can easily access the work, and learn about the culture and art of Australia’s Indigenous people.

BASKETS AND BIRDS opens 6.30pm Thursday 15th October and continues 10am to 6pm daily until November 1st at 330 South Terrace, South Fremantle.

For further information, please contact Anna Kanaris on 9336 7787 or 0418 900 954 or visit


Artist: Janine McAullay Bott and Kukula McDonald



Gallery: Artitja Fine Art ,