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Alperstein Designs

Gladys Kuru Bidu - Tea towel

Gladys Kuru Bidu - Tea towel

Regular price $23.00 AUD
Regular price Sale price $23.00 AUD
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This vibrant Australian Made cotton tea towel features artwork detail from 'Wantili (Warntili, Canning Stock Route Well 25)'', by Gladys Kuru Bidu from Martumili Artists.

Martumili Artists was established by Martu people living in the communities of Parnpajinya (Newman), Jigalong, Parnngurr, Punmu, Kunawarritji, Irrungadji and Warralong, and it draws on strong influences of aboriginal art history. The artists and their families are the traditional custodians of vast stretches of the Great Sandy, Little Sandy and Gibson Deserts as well as the Karlamilyi (Rudall River) area.  Most Martu people maintain an entirely independent, nomadic desert lifestyle until the 1950s and 1960s when they walked into settlements in response to a long and severe drought.  Today, Martu people live in their own communities and regularly visit regional centres such as Newman and Port Hedland.

Gladys is a Karimarra woman, she was born near Wantili and speaks Manjilyajarra. Gladys and her family were picked up when she was a baby in Yulpul and taken first to Parngurr, then to Jigalong Mission, where she attended the mission school. From there she travelled with her family to Strelley Station, and then to Camp 61, an outstation on Bilanooka Station. “We stayed there with the old people, so many old people they set up a Martu school there” she says, “Then we heard Martu were going back to their homeland, their ngurra, so then we came to Punmu with those old people, Mr Lane and the other old people.” Settling in Punmu during the Return to Country movement of the early 1980s, Gladys assisted with the establishment of the Punmu School in the Community’s bough shelter when she was looking after her sister’s children.

Today Gladys is an accomplished teacher and respected cultural advisor for the Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa Martu ranger program, and works with Punmu School as a senior cultural and linguistics adviser and board member Tea towel artwork/placement varies from tea towel to tea towel so each one is unique and may vary from image shown.

Gladys was taught to paint in Jigalong by her aunt, renowned senior artist Jakayu Biljabu, and the two now regularly paint together. Gladys paints her ngurra (home Country, camp) of Wantili a large round jurnu (soak) and linyji (claypan) near Well 25 on the Canning Stock Route. The area is dominated by claypans surrounded by tuwa (sandhills), and Nyilangkurr, a prominent yapu (hill) is located on the edge of the claypan. Following rain the typically dry claypans are filled with water, with the overflow from nearby waterholes flowing to Wantili. At that time, Wantili becomes an important place for obtaining fresh water for drinking and bathing.
Wantili is significant for the fact that at this site Kartujarra, Manyjilyjarra, Putijarra and Warnman people would all come together for ceremonies during the pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) era. Many jiwa (stones used by women for grinding seeds) from these times can still be found there today.

Made in Australia
Dimensions (approx): 48cm x 79cm 
Information about artist and artwork included.

Royalties from this product directly benefit the artist and their community.

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