Niningka Lewis - Kungkarangkalpa - Seven Sisters - Cat No WB314-16

Regular price $2,700.00

Artist: Niningka Lewis

Title: Kungkarangkalpa - Seven Sisters

Cat No: WB314-16

Size: 90 x 90 cm

Story: Kungkarangkalpa - Seven Sisters 

Walka is Desert design and inextricably linked with Tjukurpa:the Law and way of life of Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people). The symbols were traditionally used in cave, ground and body paintings, in story telling, teaching and signalling inheritance. Meaning of the designs depends on its subject and particular people are responsible for their re-creation and teaching according to the Tjukurpa. Highly experienced craftspeople have grown up making traditional tools and weapons under the instruction of their elders. They now apply this knowledge and express their world through art such as this.
Both the dot painting and etching techniques, where walka is burnt into the wood with wire heated on a wood fire, have become Centralian traditions, evolving with the adaptation of traditional design for public display and as a depiction of Tjukurpa and landscape.
In this walka board Niningka is celebrating the Tjukurpa of the Kungkarangkalpa or Seven Sisters. They were pursued by a cunning man called Nyiru through a vast amount of Australia Nyiru is depicted as the solitary figure with kulata, miru munu tjutinypa, spears, spearthrower and club, while the women have their piti munu wana, bowls and digging sticks with them.
Whatever their actions: building shelters or hunting for food, significant features of the landscape were formed. Eventually they fled into the sky and became the constellation known as the Pleiades or Seven Sisters. Nyiru still follows them ceaselessly across the sky as one of the bright stars of Orion.
This painting needs to be framed or stretched. It’s also being sent direct from the artist at a remote art centre, Maruku Arts, in Mutitjulu, Uluru, NT. Please note there is only one mail plane a week that takes the artwork to Uluru. The tracking information is then received a week later when the mail plane returns so often the painting are delivered before we receive the tracking information. Please expect a slightly longer wait for this very special artwork to arrive.


Born 1945, near Areyonga and Tempe Downs, Northern Territory. Niningka lives and works in Pukatja (Ernabella), Angangu Pitjantjatjara Yangkunytjatjara (APY) Lands, South Australia.

Niningka Lewis’s innovative multidisciplinary practice incorporates painting, jewellery, weaving and sculpture. Lewis often works collaboratively and she has been making innovative woven and sculptural works with the Tjanpi Desert Weavers since 1995. Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a not-for-profit Indigenous social enterprise of the NPY Women’s Council, a resource, advocacy and support organisation for Aboriginal women living in remote communities across the western and central deserts. It was created out of a need for meaningful and culturally appropriate employment and to enable women to earn a regular income from selling their fibre art.

Tjanpi (meaning ‘grass’) supports the production and marketing of baskets, sculptures and seed jewellery made by more than 400 artists from 28 remote communities and builds on a long tradition of working with natural fibres to create objects for daily and ceremonial use. Aboriginal women regularly come together on country to collect grass, sculpt and weave, sing and dance and keep culture strong while creating beautiful, intricate and expressive fibre art.

Solo exhibitions of Lewis’ work include Niningka Lewis: My stories, Turnbridge Gallery, Perth (2016); Niningka Lewis, Turnbridge Gallery, Perth (2014) and Ara irititja munu ara kuwaritja Ernabella-la, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne (2011). Group exhibitions include Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters, National Museum of Australia, Canberra (2017-18); Relative Colours, Aboriginal Contemporary, Sydney (2017); Sappers & Shrapnel: Contemporary Art and the Art of the Trenches, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2016-17); MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2016); Nganampa Kililpil: Our Stars, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, Gymea, New South Wales (2016); Desert Mob, Araluen Arts Centre, Northern Territory (2015); Whisper in My Mask, TarraWarra Biennial, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria (2014); String Theory: Focus on Contemporary Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2013 and touring nationally 2013-15); Deadly: in-between heaven and hell, 2012 Adelaide Festival, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide (2012) and Manguri weaving: a touring exhibition of weaving by Aboriginal women from the central and western deserts of Australia, Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, Virginia, USA (2001).


Lewis’ work is held in a number of public collections including Araluen Arts Collection, Northern Territory; Artbank, Australia; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide and the Australian Museum, Sydney.

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