movie day: Sabbia Gallery Sydney presents Marissa Angapiya Thompson

Sabbia Gallery Sydney is pleased to present the first solo exhibition by APY artist Marissa Angapiya Thompson, titled ‘Panu Tatu ‘ Gum Trees’ from 27 May to 18 June 2022.

This sell out exhibition presents a beautiful body of new work in ceramics by the artist.

We are delighted to have the opportunity to hear from Marissa about her family, and her practice. She says:

My land is the desert plains. I used to do jewellery, I learned it from my grandmother (my father’s mother). She used to collect the tatgu (gum nut) and use hot wire to make it into jewellery. She was wearing it herself and sometimes it was for sale. I used to help her make it, she taught me and I learned it quick.

I learnt a lot of things from my Nana like wood carving, making little birds and lizards from punu (wood) that we collected from the creek. This is Anangu way. Now I use all that knowledge and I put it onto my ceramics.

My Aunty (father’s sister) was also a special lady. She taught me for bush medicine and we learn everything to do with bush fire and after the fire how to hunt for kuka (meat) like kangaroo. After bush fire there’s going to be new tjanpi (grass) and I do this in my artwork too.

I was lucky my Nana was still alive when I was growing up. She was a strong lady as she stayed out in the bush all the time. My father and my Aunty were ninty (clever) because they learn everything from her and then they teach it all to us kids too.

Marissa Angapiya Thompson, February 2022

Marissa was born in 1985 and grew up between her family’s homeland and Ernabella. She aended Kenmore Park Anangu School. Her father was an integral part of the APY Land Rights Movement, and her mother, Carlene Thompson is a former Ernabella Arts chairwoman and a senior Ernabella artist. Marissa has four sisters, three of whom are also practising artists at the art centre. She has two young children with her partner.

Marissa completed her first painting at Ernabella Arts in 2007 and her first ceramic work in 2009. She was an integral part of the first two workshops at Ernabella of the Indigenous Jewellery Project. Her jewellery work incorporates resin, traditional timber carvings and designs cast in silver. Her jewellery was exhibited at the Jam Factory as part of the Tarnanthi Festival in 2015.

Marissa’s artistic style in both ceramics and painting is incredibly precise. Her work often depicts tatgu (gumnuts), kurparu (magpies), tjanpi (grass) and sometimes branches out into minyma inma (womens ceremony), tadpoles, the rainbow serpent and maku (witchetty grubs). Marissa is also a skilled ceramic hand builder.

Marissa’s ceramics continue to be exhibited throughout Australia and overseas including Belgium and Macau in 2021.

Book now for The Australian Ceramics Triennale 2022

The Australian Ceramics Triennale 2022: Apmere Mparntwe will be on Arrernte country and present Australia’s most exciting ceramics conversations in a program of lectures, demonstrations, exhibitions, forums, workshops, cultural tours and marketplaces.

Early Bird tickets close 31/12/2021

Full details HERE.


Craft ACT’s annual exhibition call out is now open

Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre invites craftspeople, designers, makers and curators at all levels of experience and across a variety of mediums to propose new exhibitions for the 2022 artistic program.

“As a 50-year-old membership organisation, we love to collaborate with artists to curate an extraordinary artistic program which embeds contemporary craft, making and design at the centre of everyday life in Australia’s capital, a global city of design,” said Rachael Coghlan, CEO + Artistic Director.

Craft ACT’s exhibition program is highly regarded and has received multiple awards. Artists whose work is featured in the Craft ACT artistic program place their work in view of collecting institutions, business and industry, individual collectors and audiences. It is a valued opportunity to foster innovation and excellence, and to help artists make a living from their practice. Experimental and traditional exhibitions, as well as regional, national and international projects, can be supported.

Recently, the high-quality exhibition program has expanded its reach and legacy by moving to deeper digital engagement. “Expanded digital engagement was a pivot during the Covid-19 lockdown but has turned into a deeply meaningful and valuable dimension of our core programming. In addition to showcasing new work, building artist’s CVs and commissioning critical essays, exhibitions selected for the Craft ACT artistic program will be supported by online videos, catalogues, interviews and professional photography,” said Coghlan.

About the exhibition program

The annual artistic program showcases and supports recent graduates and early career artists, high-calibre and iconic practitioners, as well as craft and design researchers. Every proposal is assessed by a panel of respected artists across the craft mediums of ceramics, textiles, glass, jewellery and furniture, as well as design. This rigorous ‘peer review’ approach is considered the gold standard in the arts sector, helping to promote excellence, represent diversity and remain at the cutting edge in contemporary craft and design. Selection is highly competitive every year. Craft ACT receives more applications than can be accommodated.

About Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre

Since 1971, Craft ACT has played a vital role in sustaining Australia’s high-quality studio practice and supporting craftspeople, designers and audiences. We are proudly one of Australia’s longest continuous-running membership organisations in the visual arts and we have much to celebrate. Craft ACT is recognised as a leading centre in Australian craft and design, with a vision to strengthen the dynamic link between the arts – as encompassed in the craft sector – and the broad creative industries and design sector.

Submissions due

Proposals must be received by 11.59 pm (AEST) Sunday 21 March 2021.

Late proposals will not be accepted.

Need further information?


Rachael Coghlan
CEO/Artistic Director, Craft ACT: [email protected] or 02 6262 9333


Madisyn Zabel
Gallery Manager, Craft ACT: [email protected] or 62629333

Submit 2022 Craft ACT exhibition application

Image: Surface Vector exhibition by Dan Lorrimer, 2020. Photo: 5 Foot Photography