Pepai Jangala Carroll announced 2021 JamFactory ICON

JamFactory is thrilled to announce the 2021 JamFactory ICON is Pepai Jangala Carroll. A painter and ceramic artist based in Pukatja and working from Ernabella Arts, Carroll is a Luritja/Pintupi man and the first Aboriginal artist to be celebrated in this series of exhibitions that launched in 2013. JamFactory’s annual ICON exhibitions celebrate the achievements of South Australia’s most influential visual artists working in craft-based media.

Carroll’s major solo exhibition of new ceramic works accompanied by paintings and tapestry will premiere at JamFactory in July 2021 and coincide with the annual SALA Festival. The exhibition will be accompanied by a major monograph publication (co-published by JamFactory and Wakefield Press) and will tour to 12 venues nationally over the following two and a half years.

JamFactory Icon Pepai Jangala Carroll will showcase at JamFactory Adelaide from 23 July – 19 September 2021.

Beautifully incised sgraffito stoneware forms and vast canvases in muted tonal colours – some crossed by a meandering black line, others featuring a distinctive cross-like formation or the deep black forms of waterholes – are characteristic of the artwork by leading Pukutja-based artist Pepai Jangala Carroll.

When deciding on the selection of the first Aboriginal Artist to be celebrated in this series JamFactory had no hesitation selecting an artist from Ernabella Arts. JamFactory has had a long association with Ernabella Arts, and were instrumental in the foundational years of the Pukutja Pottery. Pepai Jangala Carroll is a leading artist from the community and he and his wife Alison Milyika Carroll are respected seniors within the Pukutja community.

As with many Pintupi people of his generation, Carroll was born at the former ration station of Haasts Bluff. Carroll’s father, a Pintupi man, Henry Paripata Tjampitjinpa and his Pitjantjatjara mother, Nancy Napangati, spent time living in Haasts Bluff before moving briefly to Areyonga and then Papunya. As a 19-year-old Carroll moved to Pukatja (Ernabella) to live with an aunt after the sudden death of his parents.

Carroll has remained in Pukatja for his entire working life. His advanced manual dexterity and formidable community standing has only turned to art making during his retirement years. Joining the art centre in 2009, he has since established a reputation as one of Ernabella Arts’ most senior and revered practitioners.

Committed to his custodial responsibilities of Luritja/Pintupi country, Pepai Carroll’s captivating paintings and ceramics merge his deep knowledge of country with his beautifully intricate yet minimalist style.

In 2017, a creative project titled ‘Mark and Memory’ saw Carroll return to his grandmother’s and father’s Country, Carroll’s custodial country near Kintore (NT) and Kiwirrkura (WA). This was the first time he had returned to these custodial lands since leaving the region. On this trip he travelled with fellow Ernabella artist Derek Jungarrayi Thompson visiting sites between Kintore, Kiwirrkura, and Lake Mackay (Wilkinkarra).

During this trip, Carroll was determined to connect with senior Pintupi men who he hoped could bridge the personal, social and cultural gap that had persisted since he left this custodial land. Concerned with passing on this new knowledge and experience, Carroll’s paternal homeland remains an unwavering source of inspiration and is a recurring subject within his oeuvre of painting and ceramic sculpture.

The major subjects that Carroll returns to are; Walungurru, the sand-dune country of his Father’s Country, near Kintore in the Northern Territory – the paintings and ceramics of Walungurru feature Wanampi the water serpent; Ininti, which refers in contour and colour range to the desert bean tree and its environment – the Ininti tree is prevalent in the Kintore region; and Yumari, a site located west of Walungurru, Yumari literally means mother-in-law in Luritja; and rocky country of Ilpili.

After Adelaide, the Pepai Jangala Carroll exhibition is scheduled to tour to Port Augusta (SA), Lobethal (SA), Launceston (Tas), Lake Macquarie (NSW), Redcliffe (Qld), Hervey Bay (Qld), Bathurst (NSW), Moree (NSW), Manly (NSW), Shepparton (Vic), Broken Hill (NSW) and Alice Springs (NT).

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