Tjunkaya Tapaya OAM
Pukatja (Ernabella), SA
Kungkarangkalpa means the Seven Sisters. This is an extensive creation story that relates to the Pleiades constellation in the southern hemisphere. The story traverses Australia taking on different forms; however, local women are privy to the part of the story that takes place in the Country near Pukatja (Ernabella).
About the Artist
Tjunkaya Tapaya was born in 1947 and grew up at the Ernabella Mission. She began her creative practice with weaving and later moved onto ceramics, printmaking and batik. Paintings and tjanpi (fibre) sculptures became her focus for several years, but she has recently returned to working in ceramics.
Tjunkaya began exhibiting in 1971 and her first solo exhibition, Nintintjaku � teaching, showing, passing on, was held in 2012 at Alcaston Gallery (Naarm / Narrm / Melbourne). Tjunkaya�s work has subsequently been included in many significant exhibitions in Australia and internationally.
Her works are held in many national and international collections including the National Museum of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Artbank, Art Gallery of South Australia, National Museum of Scotland and the British Museum.
In 2020 Tjunkaya was awarded an Order of Australia for service to Indigenous visual art and to the community.