90 x 120cm
Acrylic on Belgian Linen
REGION: Fregon, S.A.
Imitjala Curley was born in 1953, at Ernabella Mission in South Australia, which was formerly a pastoral sheep station before the Presbyterian Church took over the pastoral lease under the guidance of Dr. Charles Duguid in 1937. Some years later, the family moved to Kalka (Fregon) after it was established in 1961 as a cattle station and is located just 4km over the Northern Territory border.
Imitjala is a senior traditional woman and is the custodian for a number of important Dreaming stories including the Ngintaka (Perentie Lizard), Ngapari (Sugar Leaf at Watarru), and the Minyma Kututja of the Walytjitjata Dreaming. Imatjala’s mother is Puni Puni who was connected to this Dreaming story the Kampurparpa Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) in the Walyjitjata region, a small homeland just over the NT border.Imitjala was married to Ken Curley (dec.) and has five children. She commenced painting on canvas in 2009 but worked in the craft room of Kaltjiti Arts (Ernabella) since the early 1960’s. Imitjala has contributed artwork in several important exhibitions and is very well-collected.
Imitjala explains these paintings reflect the country where there is plenty of bush tucker. The large roundels represent the piti (traditional bowls) used to collect the figs, bush tomatoes and other bush foods (depicted as smaller circles). Imitjala now shows her daughters and grandchildren how to collect the bush foods and eat healthily from the land just as she did as a child.