KURUYULTU - ART STORY
By Eunice Napanangka Jack
In this painting Eunice depicts her father’s Tjukurrpa (Dreaming). It shows the country at Kuruyultu, near Tjukurrla in Western Australia. “This is my country. I can’t remember how it all happened, because it happened before I was born. I have a scar on my back from it. My grandfather speared a wallaby at Kuruyultu. That night he ate that wallaby. At the same time my mother could feel me moving inside her. She was heavily pregnant with me. That next morning, after my grandfather had speared the wallaby, killed it and eaten it, I was born.
I was born at Kuruyultu, near the Rockhole there... We left that place, Kuruyultu. My father, my mother, my big sister and my father’s brother, we all left together and went to Haasts Bluff. I grew up in Haasts Bluff. I have been back to Kuruyultu for visits but I never lived there again in my country. I think about it every day.
Only my father knows all the stories for that country and he painted them too… all the men’s stories. I know the story of the wallaby mother and daughter which left me
with a birthmark. That’s what I paint: the wallaby mother and daughter.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Eunice is an acclaimed Luritja, Ngaanyatjarra and Pintupi artist; born in 1940 at Lupul in the Sir Frederick Ranges. When Eunice was a little girl shortages of food forced her family east towards the ration stations being set up in central Australia. She remembers the travels with her family very vividly and refers to it as when her mother carried her piggy back all the way from Western Australia to Haasts Bluff. An important woman in her community, Eunice is well known for her hunting skills, dancing and traditional law knowledge. Eunice started painting with the opening of the Ikuntji Women’s Centre in August of 1992, and from 1993 to today has exhibited widely around Australia and the world. Her father Tutuma Tjapangarti was one of the original Papunya Tula painters, and during the 1970s she worked with her husband Gideon Tjupurrula Jack who was painting at Papunya Tula. Eunice’s paintings are interpretations of her country near Lake Mackay. She uses layers of colour to build up a vision of the bush flowers and grasses. Amongst this landscape Eunice’s personal stories are told, either of the travelling of her Tjukurrpa -the Bilby- or the people who once lived in the area.
Art centre - Ikuntji Artists
Ikuntji Artists is located in Haasts Bluff community, which is 230km west of Alice Springs, in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Ikuntji Artists was the first art centre established for women of the Western Desert art movement. Ikuntji Artists has many internationally renowned artists, who are represented in galleries and institutions around the world. Their art is famous for bold colour choice, decisive brush strokes, and rich cultural storytelling.