Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
164 x 195 cm
© The artist and Tjungu Palya
For this painting, Nellie drew on her deep cultural connection to her country associated with the Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa (the Two Sisters Creation story) from Irrunytju (Wingellina). Landmarks created by their epic journeying and activities embody a spiritual essence, which is captured in her paintings.
Her works are bold and colourful landscapes depicting country traversed by the two ancestral women in the story:
This is two women who came from a long way south to Irrunytju. They were sisters. They were carrying a digging stick and threw it in front of them. The digging stick skidded along the ground and lay there. They picked it up and went north to a place called Ngurapila and performed sacred dancing. Then the big sister picked up the younger one and continued north.
Kunmanara (Nellie) Stewart
Born: c.1935 Pipalyatjara SA
Pitjantjatjara language group
Art Centre: Tjungu Palya, Nyapari SA
Nellie Stewart was born in the bush at Pipalyatjara, her father's country. Her mother is from Irrunytju and is Kuntjil Cooper's older sister. As a young girl she attended school at the Ernabella mission and later worked in Alice Springs teaching Pitjantjatjara language with her husband.
Nellie Stewart was a senior Pitjantjatjara woman who only began painting in 2007 when she moved to Nyapari with her family. She had an intuitve feeling for painting, drawing on her deep cultural connection to her country associated with the Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa (the Two Sisters Creation story) from Irrunytju. Her works are bold and colourful landscapes of this country.