Ivy Ingkatji, Piti, c. 1995, Itara: River Red Gum. Art carved on wood.

An exhibition celebrating the stories and Law of Anangu culture through intricate carvings and artefacts will go on display at the Museum of Geraldton this weekend.

Punuku Tjukurpa is the first touring exhibition of artworks from the Maruku Arts archive based at Mutitjulu, near Uluru in the Northern Territory.

Museum of Geraldton Regional Manager Leigh O’Brien said Punuku Tjukurpa, presented by Artback NT, showcases a rich cultural history.

“There will be 88 punu (carved objects made of wood), sculptural works, 2D pieces and specially produced audio and video footage on display,” Ms O’Brien said.

“The mobile app that accompanies the exhibition also provides deeper engagement with the diverse works through audio descriptions of selected objects, a walking tour and educational activities.”

Artback NT Executive Officer Louise Partos said the exhibition offers a privileged insight into one of Australia’s finest art movements.

Punu is a significant and prolific art form in Central Australia and its production and display are integral to the maintenance of culture, and to the sharing of knowledge,” Ms Partos said.

The title of the exhibition, Punuku Tjukurpa, describes the story and Law behind the works on display.

The exhibition features works made by three generations of artists for whom the tradition of wood carving and painting has been passed down. Artists have shared the teaching of stories that inform the intricate designs and markings incorporated in the objects.

Ka punu nganampa tjuta palya ananyi tjana nyakuntjaku. Wiru nyangatja. Tjana nyakula kulilpai alatji palyalpai munu memory tjuta ngananana Kanyilpai.”

“It is good that our carvings should go out to the world for all to see. This is a good thing. People can see and understand how things are made and that we have a lot of memories [in our collection],” said artist Niningka Lewis.

Selected artworks in Punuku Tjukurpa have been audio described for visitors with visual impairment. Delivered via MP3 players at the Museum, these audio descriptions assist in increasing access to culture and the arts.

Punuku Tjukurpa opens at the Museum of Geraldton on 10 February and will be on display until 29 April 2018. Entry to the Museum is by donation.

Visitors on the opening day are also welcome to attend a free floor talk about the exhibition by Punuku Tjukurpa Curator Stephen Fox at 10.30am.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.



Media contact
Sharna Craig
Media and Publicity Officer
Western Australian Museum