• 17. Tjitji Ngatingka

Christobell Protty

17. Tjitji Ngatingka

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'This is my Tjamuku Ngurra (Grandfather's country). It is called Tjitji Ngatingka. It is the second creek back from Uluru on the way to Kaltukatjara (Docker River). There are lots of kids there. You camp there and you can hear those kids. But they cheeky kids. Really one. They will steal your shampoo and car keys and good stuff like tuna meat. If you camping there, you have to call out to them and tell them you're there and just staying one night'. 'Then they will leave you alone'.

Christobell Protty is a Pitjantjatjara artist with connections to Tjukurla and Kaltukatjara (Docker River). She was born in Areyonga (Utju) before travelling to Kaltukatjara with her family as a child. Her mother is senior law woman and artist, Martha Protty, and as such her knowledge of the landscape and stories surrounding the Kaltukatjara region on both sides of the border is strong. Christobell paints important Tjukurpa (Dreaming stories) at mulptiple sites, including Ontulu, and Tjitji Ngatingka. She is a consistent presence in the art centre,working almost daily on her detailed and layered canvases which crackle with energy and dynamic forms.

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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