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Nellie Roberts Tjawina, Kuniya and Liru, 122x61cm
  • Nellie Roberts Tjawina, Kuniya and Liru, 122x61cm
  • Nellie Roberts Tjawina, Kuniya and Liru, 122x61cm
  • Nellie Roberts Tjawina, Kuniya and Liru, 122x61cm
  • Nellie Roberts Tjawina, Kuniya and Liru, 122x61cm
Nellie Roberts Tjawina, Kuniya and Liru, 122x61cm
Nellie Roberts Tjawina, Kuniya and Liru, 122x61cm
Nellie Roberts Tjawina, Kuniya and Liru, 122x61cm
Nellie Roberts Tjawina, Kuniya and Liru, 122x61cm

Nellie Roberts Tjawina, Kuniya and Liru, 122x61cm

$929.00
  • Aboriginal Artist - Nellie Roberts Tjawina
  • Community - Wingellina
  • Aboriginal Art Centre - Ninuku Arts
  • Catalogue number - 19-410
  • Materials - Acrylic on canvas  
  • Size(cm) - H122 W61 D2  
  • Postage variants - Artwork posted un-stretched and rolled for safe shipping
  • Orientation - Painted from all sides and OK to hang as wished
Kuniya the woman python, and Liru, the poisonous snake. The Kuniya woman came from far away in the east to hatch her children at Uluru. She carried her eggs strung around her neck like a necklace and brought them to rest at Kuniya Piti. There she left the eggs on the ground. Kuniya camped at Taputji and hunted in the nearby sandhills. As she left and entered her camp, she formed deep grooves in the rock. These grooves are still there. One day, Kuniya had to draw on all her physical and magical powers to avenge the death of her young nephew, also a Kuniya. He had enraged a group of Liru, or poisonous brown snakes, who travelled from the south-west to take revenge on him. They saw him resting at the base of Uluru and rushed upon him, hurling their spears. Many spears hit the rock face with such force that they pierced it, leaving a series of round holes that are still obvious. The poor Kuniya, outnumbered, dodged what he could but eventually fell dead. When news of the young python’s death reached his aunt on the other side of Uluru, she was overcome with grief and anger. She raced along the curves of the rock to Mutitjulu Waterhole, where she confronted one of the Liru warriors, who mocked her grief and rage.

Nellie Roberts is a senior artist from Wingellina. She was born out bush in Katajulu, near Blackstone. She grew up in a Mission Home in Warburton after she lost her father and mother as a baby. Nellie was educated by the nuns in the mission. When she was still in school her brother brought her to Ernabella, but she didn't feel really happy there and went back to Warburton. Later she moved to Amata and had her first husband there. After her husband left she stayed behind and raised her 3 children. In the seventies, when the mining started at Wingellina she moved there with her children. She started painting with Amanda Dent and has been painting ever since. Her husband's homeland is Katala, but her paintings depict Iljupa, her country.

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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