Ngupulya PUMANI, Antara, 2017

Samstag Museum of Art is proud to announce three stunning acquisitions into the University of South Australia Art Collection by Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands artists Wawiriya Burton, Sylvia Kanytjupai Ken and Ngupulya Pumani. We thank Professor Irene Watson, Pro Vice Chancellor Aboriginal Leadership and Strategy, University of South Australia for her generous support of the collection.


Wawiriya Burton, Ngayuku Ngura (My Country), 2017

Born in outback central Australia in the 1920s, Wawiriya Burton grew up in her father's homeland around what is now Pipalyatjara, South Australia. Burton now lives in Amata, South Australia and has been painting at Tjala Arts since 2008. She began specialising in baskets made from spinifex, and punu (wood) carvings, and later learned to paint from the other women.

Ngayuku Ngura (My Country), demonstrates Burton's strong traditional cultural ties to Amata land.


Sylvia Kanytjupai Ken, Seven Sisters, 2017

Pitjantjatjara artist Sylvia Kanytjupai Ken has been painting at Tjala Arts since 1999 alongside her mother Iluwanti, and her daughters Serena Heffernan and Anastine Ken.

Seven Sisters displays Ken's signature use of vibrant colour and fine dot work to depict the star dreaming of the seven Napaljarri sisters, a story that shared with her family.


Ngupulya Pumani, Antara, 2017 

Born west of Mimili, South Australia, Ngupulya Pumani is a senior Anangu woman committed to fostering traditional law and culture and preserving the Yankunytjatjara language. Pumani began painting in 2009 and has been inspired by her mother to portray her country with broad brush strokes and intense luminous palettes.

Strongly anchored to the land and the power it holds, Pumani weaves stories from her country across her canvas. Pumani paints her family's Dreaming; her mother's ngura (homeland) is Antara and her father's is near Watarru. Antara is a sacred place associated with the Maku Tjukurpa (Witchetty Grub Dreaming) and Antara, 2017, employs pale, earthy colours to depict the desert landscape, contrasted with patterns of intense, bright dots and lines to represent symbols, figures and their journeys. Her paintings portray a truth, a unique rawness, but also a joy of culture and tradition.