Kuruyurltu – Tjawina Porter


30.5cm x 40.6cm: acrylic on canvas

Artwork is sold unstretched

In stock


30.5cm x 40.6cm: acrylic on canvas

Artwork is sold unstretched

Tjawina Porter

Tjawina Porter was born circa 1940 and grew up in the desert near Yumara where she lived the traditional nomadic lifestyle with her family. After the death of her father, her family moved to the then newly established government settlement of Papunya. Tjawina now lives in Tjukurla, a remote indigenous community in the Western Desert of Australia which is close to her birth place. Tjawina is a skilled craftsperson, and was well known for her skills as a traditional basket weaver and carver of punu before becoming recognised for her exceptional painting skills.

Her artworks represent the traditional homelands associated with her people’s ancestral heritage. The iconography depicts sand dunes known as “tali” and rock escarpments known as “puli”, as well as waterholes and food sources. Her designs are often used in body art during traditional corroborees.  The artworks depict the physical markings that the ancient ancestors have provided to give evidence of their activities during the time of creation. Tjawina’s artworks are rich in symbolism and fine detail, with brushwork and dots travelling steadily across the canvas to reveal the undulating forms of her country. Her extensive cultural and topographical knowledge are evident in her paintings, which evoke the movement and energy of desert landscapes. In the years that Tjawina has been painting she has gained worldwide recognition, participating in many national and international group exhibitions. Her works are represented in private and public collections in Australia and overseas.


The rockhole and country of Kuruyurltu lies to the west of Tjukurla, over sand hill county. Kuruyurltu itself lies in lovely sandstone country. In the Tjukurrpa, the wati Kuurrku (Owl man) fled north from Kuruyurltu to Lupurl and later on to Lajamanu, after nearly being attacked by the Tingarri men. 

The Tingarri people were travelling east from the west, they stay at Kuruyurltu and travelled on to Tjukurla and Tjarlirli. Someone threw a boomerang towards Kuruyurltu and made a hole in the hill there. The women were afraid of the boomerang and ducked down onto the ground when they heard it flying towards them. The Punyunyu/Tingarri women are seen in the natural landscape as rocks at Tutjupupapupa while the men are trees.  

Tjawina used to collect water from Kuruyurltu rockhole. She had to climb up the hill and down into the gully, collect the water and carry the water back up and then down the hill for her mum, dad and siblings.