The 2022 Melbourne Art Fair Commission in partnership with ACMI was awarded to Kaylene Whiskey, a Yankunytjatjara artist from Indulkana, a remote Indigenous community in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, South Australia. This was the first time that Melbourne Art Foundation commissioned a moving image work, and the first commission awarded to an Indigenous artist.

Responding to the theme, Djeembana/Place, Ngura Pukulpa – Happy Place is a celebration of her home community, Indulkana, and the kungkakunpu (strong women) who live there. ABBA was the soundtrack while creating the work. At its centre is Whiskey, a dancing queen with an entourage of seven women from her community in Indulkana, who act as back-up for a superstar tearing through red-sand roads in a Toyota Land Cruiser, waving an Aboriginal flag that billows like a superhero’s cape. Along for the party are actual superheroes and superstars – Wonder Woman and Tina Turner materialise in Whiskey’s live-action dreamscape, appearing via vivid animation rendered in her lively, singular style.

Unveiled at the 16th edition of Melbourne Art Fair in 2022, Ngura Pukulpa – Happy Place has now found its permanent home in ACMI’s collection. 

Kaylene Whiskey in her studio. Courtesy of Iwantja Arts. Photography Meg Hansen.