Niningka Lewis Walka – Desert Design, Maruku Arts

Medium: Walka Size: Frame 42 x 82 cm ID: #WBS74
Price: $1190

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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).  The symbols were traditionally used in cave, ground and body paintings in story telling, teaching and signalling inheritance.  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.

Both the dotting and wire etching techniques have become Centralian traditions, evolving with the adaptation of traditional design for public display and as a depiction of Tjukurpa and landscape.  This walka board reflects strong culture: re-enacting ancestral travels, celebrating the sacred nature of the country and its interrelated plant, animal and human inhabitants.  It passes on to you some of the teachings of Tjukurpa.

Niningka’s walka shows Kungkarangkalpa, the Tjukurpa of the Seven Sisters, concerning a group of women being pursued by a cunning man called Nyiru.  They travelled through a vast amount of Australia as he attempted to lure them into marriage.

In their escape from him they stopped to camp, build shelters and hunt for food, thus forming many features of the landscape.  Eventually they fled into the sky where they became the constellation known as the Pleaides or Seven Sisters.  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

Two 40 x 40 cm panels, framed as one work.