TJALA ARTS AMATA COMMUNITY, APY LANDS, SA, AUSTRALIA
POSTAL PMB 261 VIA ALICE SPRINGS, NT 0872 T + 618 8956 2899
Tjala Arts is an Aboriginal owned and managed corporation that sells artwork on behalf of its members. Described by Senior Artists Nyurpaya Kaika as the “true heart of Amata Community”, the Art Centre is a professional Artmaking studio where culture is celebrated by Anangu of three generations on a daily basis. Artworks by Tjala Arts are held in many of the state and National Art Institutions and museums across Australia and the world, as well as in high profile private collections in Australia and internationally.
Tjala Arts is known for its diverse range of styles, energetic mark making and rich colorful palette. Artists explore Tjukurpa ( stories, dreaming) of the region and create paintings which are filled with artistic integrity that immediately captivate their audience. Tjala Arts artists embrace a variety of media including acrylic paint on linen, traditional punu (wood work) and tjanpi (sculptural fibre weaving).Young Artists also explore more contemporary mediums including photography, film and sound work. Tjala Arts enables economic independence for its artists. Through strong governance, the art centre has created widespread financial gain for families in the community and surrounding homelands.
THE TJALA ARTISTS CREATE WORK
THAT REFLECTS THE EXTRAORDINARY LIVES
AND STORIES OF AMATA COMMUNITY.
Tjala Arts was started by the women of Amata in 1997 and was originally called Minymaku Arts (Women’s Arts). It was renamed in 2006 to reflect the involvement of Anangu men in the art centre.
Aboriginal art and craft has been produced in Amata since the 1960s, initially sold through the occasional exhibition or to the very few passing tourists or government employees.
In 1981 a group of senior men and women from Amata took their punu (wood carvings) to Uluru (Ayers Rock) to gain access to the expanding tourist market. This enterprise eventually expanded to become Maruku Arts.
Following the success of this venture and the continued expansion of craft practices including batik and floor-hook rugs, the art centre was established and the artists expanded their skills to fine arts practice, with a particular focus on painting (acrylic on canvas/linen) and printmaking.
The centre is now one of the ten largest art centres in Australia, producing collectable fine art of the highest standard.
Tjala is the Pitjantjatjara word for Honey Ant - a traditional bush food, it is also the Tjukurpa or creation story for the Amata area. Tjala artists create works that reflect the extraordinary lives and stories of the Amata community.
“Our young fellas listen and learn and
work hard for their future because when it comes time for us to have a rest,
it’s their responsibility to take over. The young fellas are the young tree branches with green leaves.
We teach our young fellas through the family tree to understand and be at home with their Dreamings and their lands.”
TJALA ARTS WILL
CONTINUE TO MAKE
WORK THAT REFLECTS THE
LIVES AND STORIES OF
THE AMATA COMMUNITY.
“It’s good to see young people coming in and doing strong work at the art centre. We can see that our young ones can take over their tjamu and kami’s (grandparents) culture and look after our stories in this way.” MARY KATATJUKU PAN
“When Annangu are strong in their culture they are strong in the health. Old people and young people are strong in their culture every day at Tjala Arts.” FRANK YOUNG
“We were working for a long time in Ernabella and we are tired. My grandchildren will take over now.
They will also take my stories, my cultures, my land and they will know how to be strong in that way.”
“Now this is a good story:
I love painting with my mother.
We work in such a strong way together. My mother’s way is different to mine,
because I work with wooden sticks; together our work is brilliant because we are happy making work together.”
“When we are resting, it will be the young fellas turn to look after our country; this is Anangu way. As they’ve been growing up, they’ve been learning how our stories can make you strong inside and to be strong is to keep culture safe – so that nothing can take it away. This country will be theirs soon, they belong to it and they know how to stay here. Now I’ve seen young fellas in the art centre working and they are doing strong work and a good job. I am happy that they can take this, too.” RAY KEN