Walkais Desert design and inextricably linked withTjukurpa:the Law and way of life ofAnangu(Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people). The symbols were traditionally used in cave, ground and body paintings, in story telling, teaching and signalling inheritance. Meaning of the designs depends on its subject and particular people are responsible for their re-creation and teaching according to the Tjukurpa. Highly experienced craftspeople have grown up making traditional tools and weapons under the instruction of their elders. They now apply this knowledge and express their world through art such as this.
Both the dot painting and etching techniques, where walka is burnt into the wood with wire heated on a wood fire, have become Centralian traditions, evolving with the adaptation of traditional design for public display and as a depiction of Tjukurpa and landscape.
Through the artist’s traditional lands travels the Tjukurpa ofMinyma Kutjara, The Two Women. During the creation period, as they hunted and adventured along the way, they formed many aspects of the landscape and left behind information still used today about the important rituals and work of collectingmaior plant foods.
The artist has painted what is like a map that only she and other people of this country can read. Coded in the landscape and in the Creation or Law stories is the information needed to hunt and survive. This walka board is a contemporary way of continuing to celebrate, teach and live life through the Tjukurpa. It reflects strong and enduring culture: re-enacting ancestral travels, celebrating the sacred nature of the country and its interrelated plant, animal and human inhabitants.It passes on to you some of the teachings of Tjukurpa.
Artist: Elaine James Title: Minyma Kutjara (The Two Women) Size: 40 x 40cm Medium: Burnt etching & acrylic paint on plywood