Irrunytju’s Kuntjil Cooper and Tjayanka Woods Depict Dreamtime Epic of ˜Seven Sisters Dreamings’
Celebrating two of the most distinguished artists at Irrunytju Art Centre, Agathon Galleries will be showcasing the work of Kuntjil Cooper and Tjayanka Woods at their next exhibition to be opened on 18 March. The Irrunytju community is one to Australia’s most remote outstations, bordering the Simpson Desert with the Wingelllina Hills to the north and the Tomkinson and Bellrock Ranges to the south-west. It is harsh, arid, red sand country, covered with spinifex, mulga and herbaceous plants and its people are semi-nomadic.
Director of Agathon Galleries John Ioannou: Agathon Galleries has a stunning selection of vibrant work for March-April exhibition from the Irrunytju arts community. We will be showcasing very fine examples of paintings of two of Irrunytju’s most outstanding senior artists, Kuntjil Cooper and Tjayanka Woods. They paint together most days at the art centre and are highly respected as senior law women.
Kuntjil Cooper’s canvases express an intoxicating vibrancy in abstraction. Organic fields of heavily textured and spontaneous colour are masterfully orchestrated and linked by lines that define the epic journeys and incidents of her Dreamings or Tjukurpa: Minyma Kutjara (Two Sisters Dreaming) and Minyma Tjuta ( Seven Sisters Dreaming).
Schematised depictions of women’s business associated with courtship, pregnancy and childbirth, as well as the inma and rites associated with theses things, they tell of encounters of the ancestral Sisters as they traveled north from Irrunytju to Docker River and the landmarks they created along the way in response to what they encountered.
Kuntjil Cooper: When I am gone, my grandchildren will be able to understand their culture when they see my paintings. I want whitefellas to respect anangu culture. When they see these important paintings they will know the Tjurpa is strong, that anangu are strong.
Kuntjil Cooper is senior Pitjantjatjara artist born at the Irrunytju rock-hole around 1920, and is a highly respected senior law woman.
Tjayanka Woods is a senior Pitjantjatjara artist renown for a vibrant visual language where intense multi-coloured linear plays of dots and lines flow river-like from one rock-hole or land formation to another. These vary from long dense multi-coloured ribbons to lines that are shorter and more loosely constructed. Tjayanka’s paintings describe the narrative of the famous Minyma Kutjara (Two Sisters Dreaming). This is an important Women’s Dreaming for Irrunytju that describes the journey together of these ancestor spirits through country north from Irrunytju. The artist records incidents of mythic and spiritual significance that occur along the way. There is for instance the appearance of an eagle that flies above the path of the sisters.
Tjayanka Woods: “This is my father’s country close up to Irrunytju. The two sisters were travelling through this country. My grandfather, he is this eagle in my painting. You can see where he flew.”
Tjayanka Woods was born around 1935 near Kalaya Piti (Emu Water), South Australia.
For more information and interview with Director John Ioannou please contact:
T: 02 9380 5510
58 Parramatta Road Glebe NSW 2037
Tel: 02 9571 1933 Fax: 02 9571 1944