Billy Atkins (Yunkurra) Australian, Putijarra, c 1930's-2021
Yunkarra was born at Weld Springs, also known as Well 9 on the Canning Stock Route. He grew up in that country and around Wiluna, but returned north to his traditional country, which inludes Lake Disappointment. Savory Creek and Jilakurru: Closer to well 24 on the CSR. Yunkurra is a very knowledgeable senior Martu man and an authority on these important Martu places. He narrowly avoided being taken away by missionaries as a child (The old people told him to run into the bush and hide and so he did not get taken away, although some other children did) and subsequently grew up with the elderly people, learning about country in the traditional way. Yunkarra now lives at Jigalong with his wife, children and grandchildren, close to his home country.
Yunkarra has been painting longer than other Martu artists and has worked as an independent artist since the early 2000's, painting and carving artefacts. His work was also selected for the 2003 NATSIAA and in 2004 he held a solo exhibition of his work at the Courthouse Arts Centre and the Gallery in Port Hedland. The National Gallery of Australia has purchased his work and in 2005 he participated in an artists' exchange program through the Wilin Centre at the Victorian College of the Arts. Yunkarra ia s Maru elder and he has been instrumental in the establishment of Martumili Artists and continues to participate in group exhibitions.