Tjayanka Woods – The Seven Sisters-Kungkarrangkalpa

Size: 67x43cm.acrylic on canvas

Catalogue Number: 15-255


Tjayanka Woods, a senior Pitjantjatjara artist, was born around 1925, near Kalaya Pirti (Emu Water) near Mimili and Wataru, South Australia, As a child she lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle in the bush with her parents, frequently camping at Kalaya Pirti where they would hunt ngintaka (goanna), tinka (lizards), kalaya (emu) and gather bushfoods such as kampurarpa (desert raisin), ili (figs) and maku (wood grubs).

Tjayanka refers to the Kungkarrangkalpa Tjurkurpa (Seven Sisters) in her paintings. They are structured like mud-maps, tracing the journey of the sisters around the perimeter of the canvas showing the rock-holes and land formations created by the sisters as they walked through the country together. Incorporated into the paintings is the flight of the eagle, her grandfather, who flies above the path of the sisters. “This is my father’s country close up to Irrunytju. The sisters were travelling through this country. My grandfather, he is this eagle in my painting. You can see where he flew, she will tell you.