Ninuku Arts is a wholly-Indigenous owned and governed Art Centre which supports artists from two communities - Pipalyatjara and Kalka. Each have populations of around 100-150 Anangu and the majority are Pitjantjatjara speakers – Anangu simply means ‘people’ in Pitjantjatjara. Both communities are located in the far north-western corner of South Australia, near the tri-state border of South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory. The two communities, fourteen kilometres apart, are surrounded by the rolling, rocky hills of the Tomkinson Ranges and are part of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands.
Both Kalka and Pipalyatjara are peaceful places. This is a result of strong governance, cultural engagement and pride among local Anangu.
The Art Centre itself is located in Kalka and is housed in a mud-brick building (the only one in the Lands), which was built as an office in the early 1980’s by Anangu and white staff, and has since been extended to accommodate the growing number of artists keen to paint.
Despite being the most remote art centre on the APY Lands, having limited working space and access to services, Ninuku Arts has continued to grow in success with each year. The art centre prides itself on its inclusion and embracing artist individuality.
Ninuku Arts is an Indigenous owned arts centre. It is governed by a committee of practising artists with the advice and support of a full-time manager and studio manager. All art work produced is catalogued, documented and authenticated and income from sales flows back to individual artists, with a proportion set aside to maintain Ninuku Arts as a community-owned enterprise. Ninuku Arts supports local culture, the development of employment opportunities, and the ethical production and sales of paintings.
Yaritji Connelly, Senior Artist and Co-Founding Director, Ninuku Arts, says:
“Ninunya mulapa minyma Tjukuritja, palupalanguru kurunpa mukuringanyi pulkara”
Our spirits have a deep attachment to the Bilby. The Bilby Woman is our true creation ancestor and this means we have a need for her in our spirit and soul.