Fat Quarter – Kungka Dancing – Janet Forbes


Bright and joyous print, design is an ideal scale for patchworking and quilting

The image is a Fat Quarter folded.

This fabric is based on an original painting by Janet Nyunmitji Forbes, an Aboriginal artist from Papulankutja (Blackstone) in the Ngaanyatjara Lands of Western Australia.

Digitally printed on organic cotton in Australia. Excellent weight for clothing, accessories and some homewares.


Availability: 2 in stock

SKU: FLFFP20JAF Category: Tags: , , ,
  • Composition: Classic Cotton – organic (more info at bottom)
  • Dimensions: 50 x 70 cm (19.7 x 27.5 inches)
  • Weight of base cloth: 140 gsm
  • The artist is paid royalties for every metre printed
  • Produced by Flying Fox Fabrics under license in collaboration with Papulankutja Artists
  • Tag with story details supplied (see photo)

Title: Kungka dancing

Janet has painted a woman or kunga dancing at her campsite. The kunga has customary women’s markings painted on her breasts for performing ceremonial dances.

The campsite is identified by the fireplace (star in the middle) and wiltja – a traditional shade shelter made of branches. She is accompanied by her beloved dogs.

Janet is an accomplished artist with a fine sense of colour and composition. Her artworks are often intricately layered. She is also a weaver.

About the artist:

Janet was born a bush baby in the Warburton area. Her father, Nyunma came from Tawulbalyana and was a famous traditional owner for the region around Papulankutja. Her mother, Yuminiya was from Waltjatjarra country on the other side (south) of the Blackstone Ranges. After attending school at the Warburton mission (c1974/75) Janet moved to Norseman to attend high school where she met and married Craig Morrison.They have three children. The Forbes family decided to return to their country in the 1980’s settling in the new Papulankutja (Blackstone) which was founded by her father Fred Forbes. She had three siblings, only her sister Delma and herself remain.

Janet was a co-founder of the original Papulankutja Women’s Centre and recalls going to a meeting at Hamilton Downs in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara, Yankunyjatjara (APY) Lands to talk to government about money for the centre. In the early days she made batik cloth, just like the women at centres in  the APY Lands where it had started.

Janet learnt to make baskets from her older sister, Ruby Reid and was taught how to make punu (wooden artifacts) by her mother. Janet also makes sculptural forms from tjanpi (grass) with Tjanpi Desert Weavers. Janet started painting in 2003 at the newly established Papulankutja Artists originally based at the Women’s Centre. Her paintings often depict the nganur (Bush Turkey) story, the Papulankutja story of the two goanna men or the Kungkarrangkalpa (Seven Sisters).

She still lives in Blackstone with her husband Craig and surrounded by family. She lives just behind the art centre so is always coming in to paint her beautiful way, making all the other artists laugh by sharing stories as she works.

Papulankutja Artists is a community-based, not-for-profit Aboriginal Corporation governed by a committee of elected members.

It evolved out of the Women’s Centre where painting had been encouraged as an activity for both men and women since the mid 1980s. With the Aboriginal art market taking off it became necessary to establish a legal framework to protect the artists and their entitlements. Papulankutja Artists was born in 2003 and a year later registered as an Aboriginal Corporation with the members governing the art centre. After five year struggling to find a home Papulankutja Artists moved into a purpose built art centre in 2009. The art centre also works with artists in Mantamaru (Jameson), a community 75kms to the west.

The fabric: Classic Cotton is made from organic yarn and woven in a satin finish. The fabric has a smooth surface with a sheen across it and a bright white point making it an excellent fabric for printing. Classic Cotton is a versatile fabric that produces a soft hand feel and gentle drape. Perfect for all types of clothing, accessories and selected soft furnishings.

Printed by: Next State Print in Melbourne, Australia

Fabric care instructions:
Gentle cold wash. Do not bleach, warm rinse well, do not tumble dry, iron, dry cleanable (P).


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