Mpetanye Barbara Skinner
Mpetanye Barbara Skinner
Barbara Mpetanye
L A N G U A G E : A L Y A W A R R E
R E G I O N : U T O P I A , N T
Barbara is an Alyawarre artist from Utopia, a remote community north east of Alice Springs. Born in
1971, Barbara paints the story of water soakage sites in her country. The roundels represent the
water holes from a bird’s eye point-of-view, where the vital source bubbles up from the giving
land. Barbara uses repetition of bright colours to create a contemporary aesthetic.
Soakage Sites depicts an aerial view of the landscape typically found in Utopia, a region some 200km
north-east of Alice Springs. Indigenous people have an intimate knowledge of the water sources of
their country, and are able to distinguish which are fleeting and which are permanent. Her painterly
clusters of roundels, in vibrant, contemporary colour palettes, show the water bubbling up from the
ground to provide the vital resource.