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Ninuku region Indulkana Community and Iwantja Arts


Iwantja Community is located on the eastern side of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Lands, 8 km west of the Stuart Highway in the far north of South Australia, on a rocky ridge called Indulkana.

Although Indulkana is regarded as a Pitjantjatjara community, the majority of people at Indulkana refer to themselves as Yankunytjatjara, which is a group having its origins in the eastern section of the Lands. The community consists of approximately 200-250 people with a small number of people occupying outlying homelands.

Map of APY communities including Indulkuna

The first contemporary art work from Indulkana were lino prints. The technique was introduced to the community in 1952 by Rod Foster, a community adviser to Indulkana and Adrian Marrie. Their understanding of Aboriginal culture was most helpful in providing information on the instigation and development of this ‘new’ medium.

Indulkana people are adept at carving and decorating punu, wooden artefacts. Lino carving is similar in technique and people readily took to the style, first printing in monotone and then bursting into colour.

Indulkana Arts Association started in the 1970s. Initially used for secondary student's art lessons, the building used was so crowded at times that the teacher had to mark spots on the floor in the morning to make sure they all had room!

Skills were learnt and the beginnings of a clear identity formed. People did traditional wood carving (punu), batik, patchwork, dying, painting and around the early eighties linoblock printing started. Over 100 prints and many drawings from that time are in the South Australian Museum. They are mainly monochrome using dreaming symbols. Later, artists had some connection with Studio One in Canberra and three women went there to work with their printers. Some multicoloured prints were developed then.

Iwantja Arts and Crafts moved into the Family Centre in January 1995. The centre is known for its large range of colourful limited edition prints created on-site. Originally lino printers, the artists more recently diversified their print making to include woodblocks, collagraphs, etchings, and monotypes, adapting contemporary media to reflect traditional values. Artists also create acrylic paintings on linen as well as jewellery and woodwork.

Iwantja Arts and Crafts
Iwantja Arts and Crafts centre

Work by Iwantja artists is available on our Indulkana Paintings pages. Artists include Maisie King, Suzie Prince, Dianne Robinson, Whiskey Tjukangku, Lippsie Whiskey, Trisha Singer, Julie Yatjitja and Alec Baker.

The Iwantja Community Gallery (housed within the art centre) stocks a wide range of local art and craft and showcases work from other APY Lands’ art centres and artists. The Gallery is opposite the Community School and welcomes visitors.


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