Walawuru ngunytju kukaku ananyi (Mother eagles going hunting)
Jan Murphy Gallery is excited to present our first exhibition of Pitjantjatjara artist, Iluwanti Ken. Iluwanti lives in Amata, and creates her extraordinary works at Tjala Arts, in the APY lands in South Australia. In 2020, Iluwanti won the 37th Telstra NATSIAA Works on Paper Award, and we are thrilled that this work is the centrepiece of her solo exhibition at the gallery.
“I paint the stories of my father’s country – Walawuru Tjukurpa – the story of the eagles. This is my tjukurpa and all of my children’s tjukurpa too.”
Iluwanti is well known for her large-scale ink drawings which feature graphic depictions of mother eagles hunting. These highly detailed drawings are created using punu sticks and express her tjukurpa (Anangu cultural heritage, encompassing past, present and future). She says that birds like the walawuru (eagles) and patupiri (swallows) have lessons for Anangu women about how to care for one’s children. These birds build strong wiltjas (shelters) for their family, they hunt for food and protect their young from dangers.
Iluwanti has been a finalist in several national art prizes, most recently the 2021 Dobell Drawing Prize at NAS Sydney and the 2020 National Works on Paper Prize at Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery. Her work is held in numerous public collections including the Art Gallery of South Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, QAGOMA, Artbank and the Singapore Art Museum.
Image credit: Iluwanti Ken, Walawuru ngunytju kukaku ananyi (Mother eagles going hunting) 537-20, ink on paper 300gsm,153.0 x 122.0 cm (detail)