Minyma Kutjarra by Christine West

Minyma Kutjarra

Paintings depict the Tjukurpa, the Law and stories of Ancestors. Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people) have responsibilities for the protection and teaching of different Tjukurpa and there are strict protocols for the imparting of knowledge. The dotting technique has evolved with the need to adapt sacred expressions of Tjukurpa for public viewing and as a depiction of the desert landscape.

Minyma Kutjarra, the Two Women, travelled the artist’s lands during the creation period, hunting andadventuring along the way and forming many aspects of the landscape. They also left behind information still used today about the important rituals and work of women.

This painting was created as part of the Warburton Arts Project, set up to support cultural resurgence after many years of mission dominance on the lands. The Minyma Kutjarra are sitting at Kurlianpurru in the artist’s father’s country making mangurri or headrings, used by Aboriginal women to balance their bowls on their heads for travelling. As they made each mangurri, they threw it out into the landscape around them, for people to use. The concentric circles show both the headrings and the sacred site of Kurlianpurru at the centre of the painting.