The Watarru Collaborative generally consists of artists Beryl Jimmy, Wipana Jimmy, Imitjala Pollard, and Tinpulya Mervin. Located 100kms south of Uluru in South Australia, Tjungu Palya lives at Nyapari, a community at the base of the Mann Ranges, country owned by the Pitjantjatjara people. This mountain range has been the provider of natural resources to the homelands of the Kanpi, Nyapari, Angatja, Umpukulu and Tjankanu people enabling them to establish long-term settlements.

Indigenous Art. WATARRU COLLABORATIVE. Leonard Joel Auctions
WATARRU COLLABORATIVE (20th Century) (Pitjantjatjara Language Group) Ilpili 2016 | $9,000-12,000

Creating Tjungu Palya (Good Together), artists from Murputja came from their traditional countries just south of Watarru, creating the arts centre. The artists of the Watarru collaborative have received much acclaim for their paintings. Initially, their collaborative works caught the attention of the Department of Environment and Heritage, with major pieces now hanging permanently in the South Australian parliament. In 2007 they won a major prize in the national Drawing Together competition and continue to paint with relatively small output, making these pieces rare on the secondary market.

This work refers to “the creation story for Ilpili about the Two Sister creation beings. The women were hiding in Tjukulas (rockholes) and one Wati (man) was searching for them but he could not see them. The younger sister was pregnant. Her older sister was looking after her. As they hid in a cave at the base of the hill the man climbed up high to look for them called out “Yaltji, minyma kutjara?”(where are you two women)?” – Tjungu Palya

Lucy Foster / Senior Art Specialist

Banner Image: WATARRU COLLABORATIVE (20th Century) (Pitjantjatjara Language Group) Ilpili 2016 | $9,000-12,000

August 2022