Mona, Tjimpayi and Naomi have depicted the Seven Sisters Story. This is a Tjukurpa Story (Creation Story) about the constellations of Pleiades and Orion. The sisters are the constellation of Pleiades and the other star Orion is said to be Nyiru or Nyirunya (described as a lusty or bad man). Nyiru is forever chasing the sisters known as the Kunkarunkara women as it is said he wants to marry the eldest sister. The seven sisters travel again and again from the sky to the earth to escape Nyiru’s unwanted attentions. They turn into their human form to escape from the persistent Nyiru, but he always finds them and they flee back to the sky. As Nyiru is chasing the sisters he tries to catch them by using magic to turn into the most tempting kampurarpra (bush tomatoes) for the sisters to eat and the most beautiful Ili (fig) tree for them to camp under. However, the sisters are too clever for Nyiru and outwit him as they are knowledgeable about his magic. They go hungry and run through the night rather than be caught by Nyiru. Every now and again one of the women fall victim to his ways. It is said that he eventually captures the youngest sister, but with the help of the oldest sister, she escapes back to her sisters who are waiting for her. Eventually the sisters fly back into the sky to escape Nyiru, reforming the constellation. (In some cases the artist will secretly depict sexual elements as Nyiru is really only after one thing-sex).
Mona Mitakiki Shepherd 01/07/1954 Mona started painting with Tjurma Arts and Crafts back in 1998. After a long break she returned to painting at Tjala Arts(formerly Minymaku Arts) in mid 2003. Mona's husband, Michael Mitakiki also painted briefly at the art centre. After the death of her husband in May 2005 Mona changed her surname from Mitakiki to Shepherd for cultural reasons - Pitjantjatjara people are not allowed to see or hear the name of the deceased.
Naomi Kantjuriny 28/09/1944 Naomi is a prolific painter who has been working at Tjala Arts (formerly Minymaku) Arts since 2001. An excellent hunter, basketmaker and wood carver, Naomi took to painting with remarkable ease. Sh is recognised for her knowledge of the Tjukurpa stories of the area and whilst she is a new and emerging artist her technique is well developed. Naomi’s mother’s Dreaming is Malu or kangaroo. Naomi is also a Ngangkari - traditional healer. Ngangkari provide traditional healing treatments and practices of the mind, body and spirit. They are exactly like Western doctors and equal to doctors in their effectiveness for the Aboriginal people of her region.
Tjimpayi Presley 01/12/1967 Tjimpayi is the daughter of Tjampawa Katie Kawiny who is also a painter at Tjala Arts. Tjimpayi is well known for her ‘punu’woodblocks, a process that involves burning the design into a wooden surface using hot wire. However, she is also a talented painter and has recently started making beautiful work on canvas.
GROUP EXHIBITIONS: 2017 Art Gallery of New South Wales - The Wynne Prize 2016 Charles Darwin University, in association with Darwin Festival and Paul Johnstone Gallery - Salon De Refuses 2017