Thancoupie is the most prominent Aboriginal potter and in 2001 a retrospective exhibition was held at the Brisbane City Gallery which also toured to Cairns. Her first solo exhibition was in 1972 and therefore her professional career has extended for almost 30 years. Born in Naperanum (Weipa), Thancoupie trained at East Sydney Technical College. She returned to north Queensland after completing her studies and having a number of successful exhibitions in Sydney.
Thancoupie's spherical pots explore the theme of the meaning of life through the use of the circle. The design on this pot depicts the Nguul (Mosquito) Corroboree. Like Noah's Ark, the animals attended the ceremony two by two and this pot depicts several pairs of animals.
Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2001
Mosquito corroboree, two by two
27.0 x 32.0 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Dr and Mrs Ronald K Faithfull 2001
© Estate of Thancoupie
Where the work was made
Shown in 5 exhibitions
National Women's Art Exhibition, Hogarth Galleries, Paddington, 09 Mar 1995–01 Apr 1995
Gamarada, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Nov 1996–16 Feb 1997
A material thing - Objects from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 31 Aug 1998–09 Feb 1999
One sun, one moon, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 03 Jul 2007–02 Dec 2007
Peter Rushforth: A Legacy, Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, Katoomba, 01 Dec 2018–20 Jan 2019
Referenced in 4 publications
Natasha Brook, Tradition today: Indigenous art in Australia, 'Thancoupie', pg. 134, Sydney, 2004, 134 (colour illus.).
Grace Cochrane, One sun one moon: Aboriginal art in Australia, ‘Cross-over: Two-way influences in contemporary Indigenous design’, pg. 261-269, Sydney, 2007, 263 (colour illus.).
Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2002, 'Year in review', pg. 8-25, Sydney, 2002, 9.
A material thing - objects from the collection, Sydney, 1999.