We recently felt very honoured and excited to pull together a truly magical moment for our Klemzig resident, and renowned Indiginous artist, Bernard Tjalkuri.
Local APY Art Gallery in Adelaide feature Bernard’s indiginous artwork in their gallery and consider him an ‘artist in residence’. They supply Bernard with canvas and paints so he can continue to create his art from his home with us and they collect it as it becomes available.
The painting shown is one of his latest offerings and his daughter, Mayana, also an artist in residence at the gallery, arrived on the bus to collect the artwork and surprise her dad.
During the times where we had to introduce visitation restrictions, Mayana was unable to enter the home but she was able to see and speak to her dad through the glass.
Smiles all around – it was a truly heart warming moment we were so moved to be part of helping facilitate.
Bernard Tjalkuri was born by the Waltja rockhole in the bush close to the homeland of Kunumata in the far north west of the Piltantjatjara Lands of northern South Australia in 1930.
Bernard lived a traditional nomadic life in the desert prior to contact with Europeans. He remembers seeing whitefella’s travelling through his country as they headed west to the Warburton Mission when he was a young man.
Bernard has the authority to paint many stories associated with his traditional country. He is an important community elder with a wealth of knowledge of the Law or Tjukurpa. This cultural knowledge is handed down orally in the retelling of the Tjukurpa (traditional stories of the ancestor’s journeys), which not only sustains Anangu (Aboriginal people) physically, but socially and spiritually. Tjukurpa painting depicts a fragment of a larger story, a living history where an ancestor was involved in creating country. Individuals have authority and ownership of this land and the associated sites and stories. The maintenance of this country is paramount to artists of Watarru and they continue to care and manage the land with respect and responsibility.