• 14. Minymaku Piti
  • 14. Minymaku Piti

Faith Butler

14. Minymaku Piti

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' This is minyma place, ladies' place, wati wiya (no men). That one big piti (soakage) in the middle and all the ladies around. Round ones are puli pirni (lots of stones) around that piti. And tali (sandhills) all around. At the piti, water not siƫng on top, gotta dig him up'.

Faith was born to Nutangka Bennett & Barney Ward at a place called Mangatjatjara, close to an extremely important sacred site deep in the desert. Faith now lives in the small and remote community of Tjukurla, where she paints the stories of her country using the traditional Tjukurrpa and Tingarri designspassed down to her. Faith is well respected in her community as a knowledgeable Ngaanyatjarra woman. When Tjukurla was still a small outstation of Kaltukatjara, there was no infrastructure or services. The responsibility of teaching the children in daily classes was given to Faith. Faith is also a skilled basket weaver and purnu (wooden artefact) carver, and in recent years has expanded her practice to include silk painting and other textile creations. Faith has an aptitude for colour selection, and her canvases are strongly composed and carefully executed. She has been painting with Tjarlirli Art almost since its inception, and is a key and longstanding member of the organisation.Faith’s spirituality is a deep and essential part of her, and she is a significant dancer for inma, women’s ceremonies. This cultural knowledge is embedded in her practice, and she often sings songs from her country while working and takes every opportunity to return to country and spend time painting and conducting ceremonies in the bush. Faith also holds family connections to many of the other senior artists, granting her the cultural and familial knowledge to speak to the broader practices of Tjarlirli artists. Her own works capture the music and movement that she brings to the studio and her every day.Faith's paintings sing with the stories linking countless generations of women to one another in the desert lands, and celebrate the joys of connectedness to country and people.

Tjarlirli Art and Kaltukatjara Art are two community-owned art centers located on either side of the border between the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The Tjarlirli art centre is located in Tjukurla, a small community of around 50 people in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands. Tjukurla was established here in the 1980s due to its proximity to extremely significant cultural sites and the ancestral homelands of community members. Nestled between sand dunes and the vast salt lake (Lake Hopkins). Kaltukatjara art centre is just across the border in the NPY Lands of the Northern Territory. Kaltukatjara (Docker River) community was established as a settlement in the 1960s and is now home to around 300 people. It lies along stunning mountain ranges and river beds.

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