The Trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW have awarded the inaugural Roberts Family Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Prize to Wawiriya Burton for Ngayuku Ngura (my Country).
Wawiriya Burton is a senior woman from the Amata community. In this painting, she tells the story of her father’s country near Pipalyatjara, west of Amata in South Australia. It depicts minyma mingkiri tjuta (small female desert mice). The mingkiri are pregnant and give birth to many babies. They then journey to the surrounding rock holes in search of food and water for their young. The dotted lines are mingkiri tracks.
‘A long time ago, when we were little children, we ran around Puta Puta and Ilitjata, our grandfather’s and father’s ground, and because of this we grew up strong. Why? Because it’s Anangu country – Aboriginal people’s Country – of their spirit.’
Wawiriya Burton, 2017