Fabric: printed Tencel/linen (front) and unprinted cotton (back)
Color: the base cloth is black and the ink is white. The back of the cushion is black.
Purchasing items made from hand-printed fabric supports Aboriginal artists (who get a royalty) and also creates a livelihood for the printers and sewers.
Please note that each cushion is unique and the placement of the design is different and wonderful on each item. The fabric was made into cushion covers by Mrs Pichreay our fair trade partner in Cambodia.
The artist: Mitjili Napurrula
Mitjili Napurrula was born in 1945 at Papunya, 200 kilometres West of Alice Springs. She is the daughter of Tupa Tjakamarra (now deceased) and Tjunkiya Napatljarri. Her mother, Tjunkayi Napaltjarri, was a Pintupi/Luritja woman from Yumari who also became an artist of public repute. Her mother ‘came in’ from the drought-stricken Pintupi/Lurjita country seeking refuge and rations in the remote community of Haasts Bluff (Ikuntji). Along with her extended family, she was settled at Papunya, where Mitjili was born.
Mitjili grew up in Papunya and moved to Haasts Bluff with her late husband Long Tom Tjapanangka in the late 1980’s during the outstation movement. The couple started painting at Ikuntji in 1992 with the opening of Ikuntji Women’s Centre, both contributing significantly to the emerging art movement there. She gained an international following after winning the Alice Springs Art Prize in 1999.
Mitjili paints her fathers Tjukurrpa, the ceremonial spear straightening in Uwalkari country (Gibson desert region). The Watiya Tjuta (acacia trees) are the trees that are used to make these spears. Uwalkari country is abundant with Watiya Tjuta, as well as sand hills and other plants.
This story was passed down to her by her mother; she remembers, “After I got married, my mother taught me my father’s Tjukurrpa in the sand, that’s what I’m painting on the canvas”. Mitjili and her brother Tjupurrula both inherited the right to paint works related to Ilyingaungau in the Gibson Desert. This site, south of Walungurru (Kintore), some 520kms west of Mparntwe (Alice Springs), is where the artist’s Mutikatjirri ancestors assembled their kulata (spears) for a conflict with the Tjukula men.
The artist is paid royalties for every metre printed.
Mitjili is a member of Ikuntji Artists, Haasts Bluff, Northern Territory, Australia
Fabric lengths in this design are also available from our store.