Reveal and conceal paintings inspired by Yankunytjatjara artist Kaylene Whiskey

Kaylene Whiskey (b.1976) is a Yankunytjatjara artist who spends her days painting and working at Iwantja Arts – an Aboriginal-owned art centre situated at Indulkana on the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands roughly 1200km northwest of Adelaide. Whiskey’s brightly coloured comic-strip style paintings are known for their playful synthesis of popular and desert culture, often featuring recurring cameos of Hollywood actors, famous film and television characters, divas and pop icons interacting with Whiskey’s daily life in Indulkana.

'Year 9 students at Woodcroft College studied the work of Kaylene Whiskey where they learnt about the significance of symbols in storytelling. The theme was Invisible Worlds and students were asked to study images of personal significance from the world around them as a starting point to their works of art. We discussed the use of icons from the commercial world in contrast to images from the natural world within Kaylene Whiskey’s paintings and how the two were intertwined within the work.

Students were then asked to create their own personal stories using symbols that were important to them in their own compositions. These stories were painted onto old road signs where a particular object or symbol was used as a focal point to the work. When constructing their compositions students were asked to balance their own work with the images on the signs they were given, weaving the pre-existing symbols on the signs into their own final designs. Glow in the dark paint was used to highlight sections of the work which was then revealed under UV light on exhibition night, exposing an invisible world within the painting'. - Coral Winterbourn, Head of Arts.