Bikes for Bush Media Release

Bikes for Bush

Media Release

Wednesday 8 September 2010

30 children in the remote Mt Liebig Indigenous community (NT) eagerly await the delivery of their new BMX bikes on Saturday 18 September, donated by the Bikes for Bush Foundation.

In an exciting weekend for one of Australia’s remotest Indigenous communities, the children of Mt Liebig will receive 30 brand new BMX bikes on Saturday 18 September, courtesy of the Bikes for Bush Foundation. Bikes for Bush is the joint initiative of Pegasus Racing and Art Equity and supported by Foundation sponsor Lumo Energy.

“A seamless partnership of sport and art has brought together the old and young of the Mt Liebig community,” says Ralph Hobbs, Art Director of Art Equity. “A healthy lifestyle for young Indigenous people and a reconnection with their traditional stories from the older generation are the immediate benefits of the first recipients of the Bikes for Bush donation.”

Mt Liebig is a small township 325 kms west of Alice Springs in the heart of the region where the famous Desert art movement began. The Bikes for Bush Foundation has worked in association with the community art centre, Watiyawanu Artists of Amunturrngu, the school and Aged Care to facilitate this first installment of 30 bikes to children of the community. Part of the provision of bikes includes their management and maintenance, which is a community project to keep the new bikes in good working order for years to come.

“The Mt Liebig children are so excited to receive their new bikes,” says Chris White, Managing Director of Pegasus Racing. “Each child will be given a bike with their name engraved on it. It will be theirs to look after and help maintain.”

Long time resident Glenis Wilkins of the Aged Care Unit at Mt Liebig says that “the Aged Care Unit will work with the local school to ensure that the bikes are used as a reward for attendance and good behavior. Bikes will be available at certain times of the day and weekends. Everyone understands the significance of what is happening.”

Ralph Hobbs is excited by what has been achieved to date, “the Bike project is bringing the community together in a very real sense.  The traditional stories of the old artists have a renewed relevance to the young. Artists like Wentja Napaltjarri have contributed so much to make it happen and are now seen by the kids as local heroes.”

Lumo Energy CEO Simon Draper, who will be at Mt Liebig for the delivery of the bikes, is delighted to be involved with such a unique foundation. “By distributing bikes to children in some of Australia’s most remote communities we are taking a big step towards encouraging healthy, active lifestyles.”

Renowned artists from the Western Desert  including Wentja Napaltjarri, Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa (Mrs Bennett) and Yannima Tommy have painted their extraordinary vision of the landscape on several high end carbon fibre racing bikes that will be auctioned on Friday 1 October in Melbourne coinciding with the UCI Road World Championships, Melbourne.

With all participating artists commanding upwards of six figures for their highly collectable paintings it is hoped that these unique ride ready bikes will achieve a $100,000 plus for the Foundation.

As Raj Nanda, Director of Bikes for Bush Foundation says “a potential owner of one of the bikes can hang it on the wall as a remarkable artwork or ride the Tour de France. Either way you will have a unique machine and make a significant contribution to Australia’s Indigenous youth.”

“The Bikes for Bush vision is very simple,” says Chris White. “A healthy lifestyle is fundamental in the prevention of the onset of certain diseases, not to mention the freedom and plain fun that comes from riding a bike.”

Cycling is one of the true world sports and Indigenous art is the natural window to Australian culture. It is an art movement that has captured the imagination of the world. By pairing the two, Bikes for Bush has the power to connect remote Indigenous communities with a broader international-conscience and make a real, lasting difference to the relevance of one of the oldest continuing cultures of the world.
MEDIA: contact Trudy Johnston at TJC: 0402 485 902, 02 8904 0822, 02 6684 7946,

Bikes for Bush

Grand Auction: Friday 1 October, 6.30pm
During the UCI Road World Championships, Melbourne.


Art Equity is an Australian company delivering art advisory and innovative investment solutions to collectors and investors in Australia and abroad.  Our combination of art expertise and education, structured investments and passion offers unprecedented opportunities for clients to build wealth and personal enrichment from Australian art.
Our clients include art lovers, private and corporate collectors and astute investors who integrate art into their broader investment portfolios. We also have advisor relationships with leading financial institutions throughout Australia and Asia.

Reputation and trust is at the core of Art Equity’s relationships with artists, suppliers, partners and most importantly, our clients. Art Equity is positioned well to guide the process of acquisition and help build portfolios of important Australian art.


Pegasus Racing Pty Ltd is an international cycling team, predominately made up of Australia’s most talented cyclists. Sponsored by Fly V Australia, the team is supported by a leadership group of experienced riders and management. Among the 15 riders on the UCI continental squad there are 10 Australians, two South Africans and one rider each from Canada, Italy and the United States giving us an Australian flavour but an international representation.

The team has the current Australian Criterium Champion, 10 riders who have represented their country at Commonwealth Games, Olympics and World Championships level. We also have three former national champions on the road and track and one current and one former track World Record holder and champion. 2009 saw Fly V Australia Pro Cycling Team debut in style with a total of 94 race wins across Australia and the USA.


At Lumo Energy, we’ve got a lot of big ideas. Ideas about doing things differently from the rest, about trying new things, about doing everything we can to keep you shining. We believe that making people shine isn’t just about making sure their lights work. We want our brand to stand out, as the customer-centric energy retailer that delivers a better quality of experience through its value and service. Our goal is to simplify everything we do to make it easy for our clients.

Artists Participating in ‘Bikes for Bush’

Wentja Napaltjarri

Wentja Napaltjarri

Born: circa 1945
Language: Luritja/Pintupi.
Country: West of Kintore

Wentja Napaltjarri was born circa 1945, in the bush near Ilpilli, an outstation halfway between Kintore and Mt Liebig. It was here that her father, Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi, was born. Shorty was one of the original founders of the Western Desert art movement.

Together, father and daughter hunted bandicoot, goanna and echidna and dug for Macu (witchety grubs). These animals now form part of Wendja’s Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) – handed down to her by her father. ‘Water Dreaming’ and ‘Blue Tongue Lizard Dreaming’ also form part of Wentja’s Tjukurrpa.

Forced to leave their lands after the arrival of the Europeans, the family journeyed east over the spinifex and sandhills – an incredible distance – to reach the ration depot at Haasts Bluff. Along the way they had contact with some of the most influential members of the community, who had been at Papunya when it was first established; Nosepeg Tjupurrula being one.

Whilst at Haasts Bluff, Wentja met her husband, Ginger Tjakamarra, also the son of a famous artist, Makinti Napanangka.  The couple eventually moved to Papunya, where Wentja started painting as her father’s apprentice.
Wentja is a highly talented artist with an accomplished and distinctive style. Her early training with her father helped develop her most important works, particularly the story of two goannas mating and going into a hole, inherited directly from Shorty.

Wentja’s early system of interconnecting concentric circles and dotted bands has been now replaced by mesmerising fields of tonal colours. Her paintings are less geometric and display a key motif – in most cases a large roundel, which represents an important rock hole where her family regularly camped. Surrounding the rockhole is a charged energy field of intricate dots – the soft dotting technique being characteristic of many Mount Liebig artists. While she works, Wentja sings about the rock hole, and the songs and music are incorporated into her paintings.

Wentja’s works have been highly sought for the past decade, included in such major collections as the Kerry Stokes and Thomas Vroom Collections, the National Aboriginal Art and Culture Institute in Adelaide, and many State gallery and university collections.

Wentja’s work has been included in leading Australian and International exhibitions, including Masterpieces from the Western Desert, held in London in 2008. Wentja was a finalist in the Telstra National and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award from 2001-2004 and again from 2006-2008.

Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa (Mrs Bennett)

Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa

Born: circa 1935
Birthsite: Yumari North,Docker River, W.A
Language: Pintupi/Pitjantatjarra-Ngaatjatjarra

Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa (aka Mrs. Bennett) is an important artist represented in the collections of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artbank Sydney, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, National Gallery of Victoria, and corporate and private collections in Australia and around the world.
Mrs Bennett was married to the late John John Tjapangati Bennett (a Pintupi speaker from Mukulurru, also north of Docker River). She was a participant in the Kintore-Haasts Bluff collaborative canvas project in 1994. This resulted in an exhibition titled ‘Minyma Tjukurrpa’ held at the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute in 1995. Other exhibitions of her works include Twenty-five Years and Beyond’ (1999) and Australia Perspecta (1999).
Nyurapayia favours the use of strong contrasts using blacks and pale yellows/creams set in relief against a red ground. Her designs are based on the stories relating to women’s ceremony and often depict the gathering of traditional bush foods and the rituals that are connected with their preparation. The depictions of the sand dune country and surrounding rocky outcrops bear a relationship to the designs used for body painting during the ceremonial dance referred to as ‘inma’.
Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa was named among the top 50 of Australia’s Most Collectable Artists in Australian Art Collector, issue 15, January – March, 2001.

Yannima Tommy Watson

Yannima Tommy Watson

Born c.1935
Anamaraptji, west of Irrunytju, WA
Language group: Pitjantjatjara

Tommy Watson has come to prominence in the Australian art market in last five years and is regarded by many as the greatest living Australian Indigenous artist. Tommy was raised in a traditional lifestyle before contact with western culture. In his experiences at Papunya in the 1970s, he witnessed the first significant painters of the Aboriginal art movement produce works rich in iconography and traditional stories.

Tommy’s own paintings do not present the same imagery which he feels is ‘sacred’, rather, he chooses a form of abstraction which has been likened to the works of great modernist artists such as Kandinsky, Matisse and Rothko. His use of colour is paramount in relating the feeling of his country and Tommy often sings as he paints the stories; the result being works of great vibrancy and immense visual power.

Tommy has only produced limited numbers of large scale paintings which are keenly sought. This controlled output combined with his extraordinary ability has seen near stratospheric prices achieved for his works in such a short time span.

A finalist of the Telstra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in 2002, 2003 & 2008 and held in all major public collections in Australia, plus a permanent presence at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris, Tommy Watson’s name is mentioned in the same breath as the iconic artists of the Indigenous movement – Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Rover Thomas.

Date: 13 September 2010
Category: Media

comments powered by Disqus