Nyankulya Watson

Nyankulya was born at Mt. Aloysius at a rockhole not far from the tri state border, sometime around 1938. As a teenager, she lived at Anumarapiti, now an outstation of Irrunytju. She remembers shortly after this time white fellas came and told her family to go to Ernabella. It was good at the mission, there was lots of flour, tea and sugar. In the morning we would listen for the bell, then we would line up for food, go to church and then to work. She later travelled back to Irrunytju with her family. Nyankulya was a founding member of Irrunytju Arts. She now resides in Nyapari, South Australia.

Nyankula says about her paintings 'I travelled around this country in the early days with my family. There's a lot of rockholes and we used to walk to all of them. We would stop and camp for a while collecting food and then move on to another place. The rockhole at Mt Aloysius had good water. I was born here. The other rockholes in my paintings are: Inurantja, Tjilpultjanga, Kunpunga (watiku ngura men's place) , Mapantji (partilku ngura ringneck parrot place) , Ultjutjara, Iltjunga, Yaliri, Palkarli, Numpa numpa, Pukara (wati kutjara tjukurpa - two snake mens creation story), Anamarapiti, Palkini, Punu Wara, Apulunga, Attanga and Wanungtjiri."

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 mountains to the bony ridge of a person's spine, are the source of many waterholes 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 artist from Murputja joined together with family members living in taditional country 180kms to the south at Watarru and created Tjungu Palya (Good Together).

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