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Ngayuku Ngura - My Country

acrylic on linen
122 x 300 cm
Maclean Collection

In this painting Wawiriya and Mrs Williamson depict their country. The different colours and designs represent variations in the landscape. The two women painted together often, creating large and dynamic paintings.

In Pitjantjatjara language, the word Ngura is a definition for the physical geography of land and country. However Ngura has a more richly imbedded meaning as a place to which someone belongs, defining where an individual comes from, family connections, skin groups, language.

Paintings of Ngura often portray personal stories and memories of Country that are personal to the artist. Iconography of significant elements within the desert landscape such as rock holes, underground springs, mountain and rock formations, and sacred sites are meticulously recorded from memory, and often depicted from an aerial perspective.


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Wawirya Burton and Kunmanara (Ruby Tjungawa) Williamson

Wawirya Burton born c.1928
Pitjantjatjara language group
Art Centre: Tjala Arts, Amata SA

Mrs Williamson born c.1940 near Wingellina WA
died 2014

Pitjantjatjara language group
Art Centre: Tjala Arts, Amata SA

Wawiriya Burton was born about 1935. She started painting at Tjala Arts in 2008, but originally specialised in baskets and punu (wood carvings). Wawiriya is Ngangkari (traditional healer) and maintains strong traditional cultural ties, demonstrated in her expressive paintings.

Kunmanara (Ruby Tjangawa) Williamson was a Pitjantjatjara senior law woman committed to fostering traditional law and culture, story-telling, hunting, punu (wood) carving, dancing and painting. She was born in the bush around 1940 and came to live in Amata with her family when she was a young girl. Mrs Williamson painted with Tjala Arts since 2000 and was one of Tjala's most revered and charismatic artists. She passed away in 2014.

note: Kunmanara is a term of respect used to replace the first name of Anangu who have died.