UKARIA honours our First Nations by fostering a shared sense of respect for this land, and we acknowledge and pay our respects to the Peramangk, traditional custodians of the land on which the Cultural Centre stands.

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We're delighted to reveal two stunning new artworks now on display our concert hall foyer and in the Garden Terrace, commissioned by UKARIA and acquired with the generous support of Ulrike Klein AO.

Seven Sisters (installed in foyer, October 2021)

Artist: Mitakiki Womens’ Collaborative: Mona Mitakiki Shepherd, Naomi Kantjuriny and Tjimpayi Presley

Size: 420x240cm

Medium: Acrylic on Belgian Linen

Mona Mitakiki Shepherd, Naomi Kantjuriny and Tjimpayi Presley paint kapi tjukurla (rock holes) that relate to the Kungkarangkalpa tjukurpa. This story involves the Seven Sisters being chased across country by a bad man (Wati Nyiru). The elder sisters protect and teach the younger ones, and keep them from falling for his tricks. Wati Nyiru can change shape into different rock formations and landmarks. These sites remain part of the landscape and are important Anangu ceremonial places.

The Seven Sisters story is very important to Anangu culture, as a story about family and culture. Mona, Naomi and Tjimpayi were taught to paint by senior artist Kunmanara Katie Kawiny. She has passed away but the younger women carry her story on for future generations.

Mona Mitakiki Shepherd | Born 1954

Mona started painting with Tjurma Arts and Crafts back in 1998. After a long break she returned to painting at Tjala Arts (formerly Minymaku Arts) in mid 2003. Mona’s husband, Michael Mitakiki also painted briefly at the art centre. After he passed away in May 2005 Mona changed her surname from Mitakiki to Shepherd for cultural reasons - Pitjantjatjara people are not allowed to see or hear the name of the deceased.

Naomi Kantjuriny | Born 1944

Naomi is a prolific painter who has been working at Tjala Arts (formerly Minymaku Arts) since 2001. An excellent hunter, basketmaker and wood carver, Naomi took to painting with remarkable ease. She is recoginsed for her knowledge of the Tjukurpa stories of the area and whilst she is an emerging artist her technique is well developed. Naomi’s mother’s Dreaming is Malu or kangaroo. Naomi is also a Ngangkari - traditional healer. Ngangkari provide traditional healing treatments and practices of the mind, body and spirit. They are exactly like Western doctors and equal to doctors in their effectiveness for the Aboriginal people of her region.

Tjimpayi Presley | Born 1967

Tjimpayi is the daughter of Tjampawa Katie Kawiny who is also a painter at Tjala Arts. Tjimpayi is well known for her ‘punu’ woodblocks, a process that involves burning the design into a wooden surface using hot wire. However, she is also a talented painter and has recently started making beautiful work on canvas.

Kapi Tjukula (installed October 2021)

Artist: Margaret Richards Born 1957

Size: 420x240cm

Medium: Acrylic on Belgian Linen

The circles in this painting represent the many rockholes (tjukula) throughout Margaret’s country. Margaret is from Pipalyatjara in the APY Lands and is an important Ngangkari (traditional doctor) in the region. Pipalyatjara is in the far north-west of South Australia right near the border with Western Australia. It is culturally significant country and Margaret says ‘I hold a lot of important stories and knowledge for that country, from my family line and in my work as Ngangkari. Some of the most important knowledge is around water, the location and sacred properties of water sources throughout my country. This is why I paint tjukula, because water in the desert is so important to Anangu.’

Margaret Richards | Born 1957

Margaret was born 1 July 1957 in her country around the community of Pipalyatjara. She is the daughter of acclaimed APY artist Harry Tjutjuna, who passed away in May 2019, having had a hugely successful artistic career first at Ernabella Arts and then at Ninuku Arts. Margaret moved to Adelaide around 2003. Margaret has a natural gift, which has been apparent ever since her first day painting at the APY studio in May 2019. Margaret’s markmaking and aesthetic has similarities with her father’s even though she is painting different Tjukurpa (story).

Location: Twin Peaks, Mt Barker Summit

In 2018, UKARIA received a donation of 47 abstract prints from the personal collection of Peter Freund, currently on display at our artist accomodation at Twin Peaks at the Mount Barker Summit.

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