Tjulyata Kulyuru Australian, Pitjantjatjara, b. 1978

Tjuyata is an early career artist who comes from a family of artists. Her mother was a senior artist at Ernabella from the mission days and exceled in hand spinning sheep’s wool and creating knitted and crocheted fashion. Her two older sisters are acclaimed artists Amanda Kulyuru and Unurupa Nami Kulyuru. Her father is the Ernabella pastor Graham Kulyuru.

Tjulyata paints a very important story about Tjukula (waterholes). For the Pitjantjatjara people living in the desert, knowledge of their water sources was critical to their survival. This resulted in an intimate understanding of the landscape which continues today. Deep familiarity with the topography of their country and the way rain would interact with the land ensured constant sources of water could be found. 'Tjukula' means rock-holes, which are found with surprising frequency in the Musgrave ranges. Between visits, Anangu (people) would use rocks and spinifex construction to guard these from spoilage by animals and, particularly in more recent times, from feral and stock animals, cattle, camels, horses and donkeys.

In 2020 Tjulyata work was on show for the first time. Her work was exhibited in Nganampa ngura-nguru nyurampa ngurakutu (From our place to your place) at Aboriginal Contemporary in Brussels and I Know My Country at Artitja Gallery (WA).