Wipana was born in the bush at Makiri rockhole (minyma tjala tjukurpa honey ant women’s creation site) in the Western Desert in 1935. Her mother’s country is Watarru and her father’s place is Aparatjara. She grew up at the mission at Ernabella and remembers her school days fondly. “At school we learnt pitjantjatjara, english wiya (no english). All the kids were nikkiti (no clothes). Nagaltutjara (poor things)!” Later she moved to Fregon with her family, where she married and brought up her children. She helped to establish Watarru as a permanent community.
Cultural knowledge is handed down orally in the retelling of the Tjukurpa (traditional stories of the ancestors’ journeys), which not only sustains Anangu (aboriginal people) physically, but socially and spiritually. Tjukurpa painting depicts a fragment of a larger story, a living history where ancestor was involved in creating country. Individuals have authority and ownership of this land and the associated sites and stories. The maintenance of this country is paramount to artists of Watarru and they are proudly working with the department of Environment and Heritage SA continue to care and manage the land with respect and responsibility.
The senior artists from Watarru have received high acclaim fro their stunning collaborative paintings. Tinpulya along with her sister Wipana are the leading hands in these works. Their initial collaborative works were commissioned by the department for Environment and Heritage SA and now hang permanently in the South Australian Parliament. In 2007 they won a major prize in the Drawing Together competition sponsored by the Australian Public Service Commission, a competitive award, which attracted over 570 entries from across Australia.
Located about 100kms south of Uluru, Nyapari is set at the base of the majestic Mann Ranges in the heart of country traditionally owned by the Pitjantjatjara people. These ranges known to Anangu as Murputja, likening the mountain to the bony ridge of a person’s spine, are the source of many water holes and traditional camping places. The homelands of Kanpi, Nyapari, Angatja, Umpukulu and Tjankanu have grown from these seasonal camping places into permanent settlements. Over fifty artists from Murputja joined together with family members living in Traditional country 180kms to the south at Watarru and created Tjungu Palya (Good Together).
Tjungu Palya is 100% owned and managed by Aboriginal people ensuring the wealth of talent and economic returns are retained in the community. Tjungu Palya promotes cultural integrity and the ethical sales of authentic art.
acrylic on canvas
punu (wooden artifacts & sculptures)
Tjanpi (spinifex baskets & sculptures)
2011 ‘Tjungu Palya – new works’ – Chapman Gallery, Canberra, ACT
2008 ‘Manta Nyangatja Pitjantatjara’ Short St Gallery, Broome WA
2007 ‘Watarru Tjukurpa’ Randell Lane Fine Art, Perth WA
2007 ‘Our Mob’ Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide SA
2005 ‘Desert Mob’ Araluen Cultural Centre, Alice Springs NT
2005 ‘Art from the APY Lands’ Marshall Arts, Adelaide, SA
2005 ‘New Work fro mthe APY Lands’ South Australian Museum, Adelaide SA
2007 Drawing Together, Caring for Country Award, The Australian Public Service Commission in Partnership with the national Archives of Australia and the National museum of Australia ‘ Kuku Kanyini’2007
2007 IAD Press, Jukurpa Calender, internal image “Watarru Apu’