Pitjantjatjara artist Angkuna Kulyuru is one of the many skilled female artists who learnt a variety of arts and crafts whilst living at Ernabella mission in South Australia. Angkuna lives and works in Ernabella where she has worked at the school and as an assistant and artist at Ernabella Arts. She is a renowned and prolific senior artist and is exceptionally skilled in many media including working with punu (wood carving), batik, prints, woven basketry and sculpture. Angkuna was one of the first women at Ernabella to learn the technique of Batik in1971, it was taught by 2 international specialists invited to the community to teach the women. Batik textiles made at Ernabella by Angkuna and the other artists have featured in many national and international exhibitions and collections.

Physical Description

Silk batik. Brown background with white and blue decoration.


Batik became a signature art form for Ernabella artists following the introduction of the craft in the early1970s. Pitjantjatjara women subsequently demonstrated their techniques to other Aboriginal communities. This is part of a long history of craft production at Ernabella, established in 1937, when the Presbyterian Church took over the lease of a sheep station situated in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (AYP) Lands. In 1948 a craft room was set up to provide employment for the women on the mission and Ernabella Arts continues to operate as an outlet for the production and sales of an increasingly diverse range of arts making it one of Australia's longest continuously running Aboriginal arts centres.

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