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Melissa Donegan, Walka Wiru Ngura Wiru, 91x61cm
  • Melissa Donegan, Walka Wiru Ngura Wiru, 91x61cm
  • Melissa Donegan, Walka Wiru Ngura Wiru, 91x61cm
  • Melissa Donegan, Walka Wiru Ngura Wiru, 91x61cm
  • Melissa Donegan, Walka Wiru Ngura Wiru, 91x61cm
Melissa Donegan, Walka Wiru Ngura Wiru, 91x61cm
Melissa Donegan, Walka Wiru Ngura Wiru, 91x61cm
Melissa Donegan, Walka Wiru Ngura Wiru, 91x61cm
Melissa Donegan, Walka Wiru Ngura Wiru, 91x61cm

Melissa Donegan, Walka Wiru Ngura Wiru, 91x61cm

$809.00
  • Aboriginal Artist - Melissa Donegan
  • Community - Kalka
  • Aboriginal Art Centre - Ninuku Arts
  • Catalogue number - 22-49
  • Materials - Acrylic on canvas  
  • Size(cm) - H91 W61 D2  
  • Postage variants - Artwork posted un-stretched and rolled for safe shipping
  • Orientation - Painted from all sides and OK to hang as wished

Walka Wiru Ngura Wiru means lovely country, lovely drawing. This is a painting and composition of dot patterns inspired by the sandy desert features around the Tompkinson ranges of Pipalyatjara, Kalka, and Irrunytju communities where Ninuku artists work.

Melissa Donegan was born in 1969 in the Warburton Ranges of Western Australia. She is the oldest daughter of renowned artist Jimmy Donegan. As a young girl, she lived in Amata where her father worked as a stockman. During the late 1970s and the “Homeland Movement”, her and her family moved to Pipalyatjara to be closer to traditional homelands. Like many other Anangu (people of Pitjantjatjara land) families, Melissa’s moved frequently between the communities of Irrunytju, Pipalyatjara and Amata.

As an adult, she moved to Blackstone, a remote community in Western Australia. It was in Blackstone where she began her career as a painter and was involved in crafting the ‘Tjanpi Toyota’; a lifesize replica of a Toyota Landcruiser made from woven grass. The Tjanpi Toyota was a project she worked on alongside her mother and sister, which won the Telstra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2005. Today, Melissa lives with her family in Kalka community where she continues to paint. Her paintings are often inspired by ‘Tjukurpa’ (traditional stories), including those associated with ‘Wati Kutjarra’ and ‘Kungkarrakalpa’. She is also a dedicated arts worker at Ninuku Arts Centre.

Ninuku Arts is a wholly-Indigenous owned and governed Art Centre which supports artists from two communities - Pipalyatjara and Kalka. Each have populations of around 100-150 Anangu and the majority are Pitjantjatjara speakers – Anangu simply means ‘people’ in Pitjantjatjara. Both communities are located in the far north-western corner of South Australia, near the tri-state border of South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory. The two communities, fourteen kilometres apart, are surrounded by the rolling, rocky hills of the Tomkinson Ranges and are part of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. Both Kalka and Pipalyatjara are peaceful places. This is a result of strong governance, cultural engagement and pride among local Anangu. 

The Art Centre itself is located in Kalka and is housed in a mud-brick building (the only one in the Lands), which was built as an office in the early 1980’s by Anangu and white staff, and has since been extended to accommodate the growing number of artists keen to paint. A silver bullet caravan (formerly a mobile health unit) is also located on site, and has become a place for some artists to paint, mostly during the winter months while the morning sun warms the deck. Despite being the most remote art centre on the APY Lands, having limited working space and access to services, Ninuku Arts has continued to grow in success with each year. The artist’s commitment to both the art centre and painting is unflappable. The art centre prides itself on its inclusivity (providing opportunities for all generations) and embracing individuality in artists.




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