Visual Arts Australia



Presented by Salon Art Projects in association with Spinifex Arts Project

Over the past decade painter Myrtle Pennington has developed a striking, minimal style with bold symbols that leap out from the vivid background colours she uses. She has made a name for herself both here in Australia and overseas and seems unaffected by the evolving styles of the artists around her. But she is famous for more than just her artistic talent.

A Central Spinifex woman, she was forced to flee the area when it began to be used as a British atomic testing range in the 1950s. Her journey out of Spinifex to Cundeelee Mission was particularly tragic for her, as her son and husband perished on the trip before the rest of the family were eventually located by Australian servicemen from Neale’s Junction army base.

Her story was to become key evidence tendered to the Royal Commission into the British Nuclear Tests in Australia in 1984, forcing her to re-live the tragic events. Painting has been her escape, and this exhibition of Myrtle Pennington’s work is a chance to experience its beauty and poignancy close up.

  • Photo Spinifex Arts Project

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