Ernabella X Koskela
Margaret attended school in Ernabella and later learnt all sorts of crafts including spinning wool, rug making and knitting and making moccasins from kangaroo skins with oil designs. In the early 1970’s she learnt how to batik. Nowadays, Margaret lives at the old date farm just outside the community of Ernabella. Margaret has batiks held in the collections of the Art Gallery of South Australia, the National Museum of Australia, the National Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria.
Her batiks designs are “walka." In Pitjantjatjara, the word walka means any meaningful mark, for example the patterns on a bird’s feathers or the markings on an animal’s coat or body markings for ceremonial purposes. Walka draws on vast visual resources. It refers to leaves, camps, waterholes, flames, fireplaces, witchetty grubs, tracks, stony hills sandhills, claypans, creek beds, trees, flowers, birds, eggs, waterholes, willy willies, feathers, eyes, snakes, tadpoles, sun, moon, stars, men, women, children, carrying dishes, spears, digging sticks, grass, burrows – the whole of Anangu life. The visual vocabulary of walka is not purely representational nor is it purely abstract. The walka is best described as an iconographic marking.
Koskela is deeply committed to using our design and production skills to empower Indigenous artists and makers. We are passionate about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and are driven to promote and celebrate their practitioners through our collaborations. This is an original design by Koskela