Lot 59 

West 'McDonald's Ranges'

Gloria Pannka

Watercolour on fast food package
Bid on this piece
About the Artist

Gloria Pannka is a senior Western Arranta woman who lives at Thakaperte (near Hamilton Downs). She is second-generation Hermannsburg School watercolour artist, with her father Claude Pannk being one of the original Hermannsburg School artists. Like his contemporary Albert Namatjira, Claude developed an interest in painting when artist Rex Battarbee visited Hermannsburg in 1934. By 1950 Claude was painting full-time and had become a highly sought-after artist. Gloria's father taught her to paint with watercolours when she was a young girl, and she continues to paint in the style of watercolour landscapes that typifies the school tradition. Gloria uses fine detail and subtle tones to capture the West McDonnell Ranges. Gloria's work has featured in numerous exhibitions throughout her career. In 2008 she received a Highly Commended award for her painting in the NATSIAA awards which was then acquired by the NT Museum and Art Gallery. Gloria's work “West McDonnell Ranges” was acquired by the Parliament House Art Collection in Canberra. Her paintings are exhibited in the Art Gallery of NSW and in many public and private collections. Gloria’s art was Highly Commended at the NATSIAA Awards in 2014 for the collaborative work Knara Nunaka Tjurretja – Our big country: The West Mac Donnell Ranges.

About the Work

Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art centre, home to the "Namatjira watercolour artists", continues the tradition of the ‘Hermannsburg School’ movement.

The 'fast food' pieces came about through artists wanting to express their concerns about fast food through art. With this body of work, supported by the mentorship of leading Australian artist Tony Albert, the Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Artists have juxtaposed their traditional watercolour style, and beautiful landscapes with powerful political and social statements.These are highly sought-after pieces, examples of which have been acquired by the National Museum of Australia. 

The artists say:

"We want to send strong messages through our art. We have health and housing concerns. Through our paintings we want to discuss care for country, and problems that we face daily. We are concerned about the future of our children. First, we feel that large food companies trade on our country and sell us sugary products. This causes health problems including diabetes, kidney failures, and the need for dialysis. We feel that those companies are lying to us about the quality of their products and taking advantage of our vulnerability. We would like to see better products in our shops. This [our artworks] is telling people we’ve got bush food out there and healthy ones. Second, we want to move back to our country, look after it and live in a good environment. This is for our kids; we’ve got to try to look after the next generation."

Notable Collections

Araluen Art Gallery, Alice Springs

NT Museum and Art Gallery

Parliament House Art Collection Canberra

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

UQ Art Museum, Brisbane

National Museum of Australia (NMA), Canberra

University of Technology Gallery (UTS), Sydney

Queensland Art Gallery Gallery of Modern Art,


©  Environmental Defenders Office NT. 

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