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Minyma Kutjara (two sisters) is one of the most important women’s creation stories of the Western and Southern deserts and a special story for Irrunytju. It tells the story of the difficult journey of two sisters who travelled throughout these vast lands and one that has been told many times through dance and painting.
The places where the sisters travelled and rested can be traced through the desert, their actions often created landmarks, rock-holes and mountain ranges. Near Irrunytju the sisters sat on two hills and made hair belts in preparation for important women’s business. They threw their wana (digging stick) creating the rockhole here. They travelled to an area known as Mantaruta, near Uluru, where they had an encounter with a curious water snake (wanampi). They chased him deep into the ground trying to catch him. They burned their body hair to attract him and hit him on the head and ran away. From afar they threw a traditional head ring (manguri) which also hits him. Then he came and in revenge hit them all over. They continued they journey, bleeding and hurt, but triumphant.
The Minyma Kutjara Arts Project is a new and exciting project initiated by the people and artists of Irrunytju. Irrunytju, or Wingellina Community is a small, very remote aboriginal community located 10kms from the tri-state border of WA, NT and SA. Irrunytju is part of the Ngaanyatjarra Lands and is home to over 150 Anangu (people) who speak primarily Pitjantjatjara language, with some Ngaanyatjarra people also. The Minyma Kutjara Project re-establishes Irrunytju as centre for dynamic and culturally important artwork. The Irrunytju paintings reflect the strong relationship between the artists, their country and culture. The artwork brings together contemporary painting techniques and media with ancient visual language and tjukurpa (dreaming).
Artist: Eva Baker
Title: Minyma Kutjara (Two Sisters). 20-14.
Dimensions: 122 x 102cm
Materials: Acrylic on canvas. Tasmanian oak timber frame.