About this artwork
Walka is a Desert design and inextricably linked with Tjukurpa: the Law and way of life of Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people). Â The symbols were traditionally used in cave, ground and body paintings in story telling, teaching and signalling inheritance. Â Meaning of the designs depends on the subject of the painting and particular people are responsible for their re-creation and teaching according to the Tjukurpa. Â Highly experienced craftspeople have grown up making traditional tools and weapons under the instruction of their elders. Â They now apply this knowledge an express their world through art such as this.
Both the dot painting and etching techniques, where walka is burnt into the wood with wire heated on a wood fire, have become Centralian traditions, evolving with the adaptation of traditional design for public display and as a depiction of Tjukurpa and landscape.
Kungkarangkalpa is the Tjukurpa of the Seven Sisters, about a group of women being pursued by a cunning man called Nyiru who tries to lure them into marriage with him. Â They travelled through Australia and this walka board is a stage in that journey. Â Nyiru is depicted as a solitary figure with his kulata (spears). Â The women have a piti (bowl) full of bush tucker.
In their escape from him they stopped to camp, build shelters and hunt for food, thus forming many features of the landscape. Â Eventually they fled into the sky where they became the constellation known as the Pleaides or Seven Sisters. Â Nyiru of course is still following them ceaselessly across the night sky as one of the bright stars int he constellation known as Orion.
Acrylic Paint on Structural Plywood