Acrylic on Canvas Painting by Martha Protty of Tjarlirli Art Centre
Size: 559mm x 914mm
Artist: Martha Protty
Martha was born south of Docker River at a Rockhole, the name of which Martha cannot speak for cultural reasons. Her whole family are from Docker River country. Matha’s father’s country is Warakurna and her mother’s country Wingellina. She has one son and one daughter and her husband has passed away. Her husband was from the other side of the Peterman Ranges. Martha has been painting, weaving tjanpi and carving purnu for many years. She is a senior law woman and holds important Tjukurrpa songs for her country.
As a senior law woman of the Kaltukatjara area, Martha’s work draws significant inspiration from local landscape and Tjukurpa (dreaming) stories. Martha’s whole family have lived and travelled in the Kaltukatja area for generations, and her paintings are a tribute to her significant cultural and historical contribution to her community.
In this work, Martha interprets the Kungka Kutjara Tjukurpa, meaning Two Women. Kungka Kutjara is a creation story following two sisters who travel through the desert leaving significant landmarks in their wake. Martha’s painting focuses on a significant cultural site just outside Kaltukatjara where the two sisters stopped to rest under two big shade trees. It also shows features of the striking desert landscape such as kapi (rock holes), purnu (trees) and puli (rocks). Martha is a lively and animated artist whose works draw a connection between the physical and spiritual realms of her life. She sings Inma (ceremony) songs continuously as she paints, her steady voice offering a rhythm for the brush.Tjarlirli Art Centre represents the artists of Tjukurla in the Ngaanyatjarra lands of Western Australia. The artwork has strong links with the Papunya Tula movement as families left Kintore and Kiwirrkurra to return to their homelands in the mid 1980s. Tjarlirli Art manages a second art centre, Kaltukatjara Art, representing the artists of Kaltukatjara (Docker River) in the Pitjantjatjarra lands of the Northern Territory. There are close ties and family links between these communities.