Tinpulya Mervyn

Tinpulya Mervyn

Language:PitjantjatjaraDate of birth:1945-11-04

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Tinpulya was born in the bush at Kelvin Well a soak near Kunmapi (Kenmore Park) in South

Australia in 1945. Her parents had travelled from Watarru to the mission at Ernabella where

they worked as shepherds. As a child she remembers making the journey back to Watarru with her parents where they exchanged dingo skins for flour, tea and sugar. Tinpulya has a passion for teaching tradi􀆟onal law and culture to her grandchildren so they grow up strong and proud.

She is a respected community leader and has Ngankari (sacred healing) knowledge. Cultural

knowledge is handed down orally in the retelling of the Tjukurpa (tradional stories of the

ancestors’ journeys), which not only sustains Anangu (Aboriginal people) physically, but

socially and spiritually. Tjukurpa painting depicts a fragment of a larger story, a living history

where an ancestor was involved in creating country. Individuals have authority and ownership

of this land and the associated sites and stories. The maintenance of this country is paramount

to artists of Watarru and they are proudly working with the Department of Environment and

Heritage SA continue to care and manage the land with respect and responsibility. The senior

artists from Watarru have received high acclaim for their stunning collaborative paintings.

Tinpulya along with her sister Wipana are the leading hands in these works. Their initial

collaborative works were commissioned by the Department for Environment and Heritage SA

and now hang permanently in the South Australian Parliament. In 2007 they won a major prize in the Drawing Together competition sponsored by the Australian Public Service Commission, a competitive award, which attracted over 570 entries from across Australia.


Past Exhibitions

  • Weaving Culture II: Ikuntji Artists 2022-06-09
  • Shalom Gamarada Art fair Woollahra, Sydney, New South Wales. 2013-12-31
  • Tjungu Palya Minymaku Tjukurpa Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria 2011-12-31
  • Wati Kalaya: Celebrating the work and life of Jimmy Baker Raft Artspace, Alice Springs, NT 2011-09-08
  • Watarru Tjukurpa - Outstation Gallery, Darwin, NT 2011-07-08
  • Tjukurpa Outstation Gallery, Darwin, Northern Territory. 2010-12-01
  • Partnerships Marshall Arts, Adelaide, South Australia 2010-12-01
  • Manta Nyangatja Pitjantjatjara Short st Gallery, Broome, Western Australia 2008-12-01
  • Tjungu Palyaku Warka Nyuwana Redot Gallery, Singapore 2008-12-01
  • Drawing Together National Archives, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2007-12-01
  • Watarru Tjukurpa Randell Lane Fine Art, Perth, Western Australia 2007-12-01
  • Skin to Skin Tuggeranong Arts Centre, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2007-12-01
  • Art from the APY Lands Marshall Arts, Adelaide, South Australia 2005-12-01
  • New work from the APY Lands South Australian Museum, Adelaide, South Australia 2005-12-01