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Artwork - 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.