Nyukana Baker (d), Lawrence Leslie (d), Yipati Kuyata (d), Tjariya (Nungalka) Stanley (d)

Artists' works from the Janet Holmes à Court Collection.

Language Groups

Kamiloroi and Pitjantjatjara

About the artists

Nyukana Baker (1943 Pukatja / Ernabella, South Australia - 2016)
was an exceptional textile artist and painter working in the Central Australian community of Ernabella. At Ernabella, Nyukana Baker began painting in 1963. In 1975 she travelled to Indonesia to the Yogyakarta Batik Institute. Here she participated in a workshop of batik techniques which can be seen in the Batik on silk artwork on display in the exhibition. In 1983 Baker travelled to Osaka to the Museum of Ethnology where she learnt printmaking techniques. Throughout her career she developed exceptional artistic skill as a forerunner in the success of Ernabella Arts, imparting diverse knowledge and skills on to the younger generation of the Pukatja community. Baker was crucial in leading artists within the community in traditions of batik printing and the transfer of milpatjunanyi (sand drawings) onto silk and cottons. Baker was prolific throughout her career, also working across the media of loom weaving, screen printing, ceramics, prints and basketry.

Lawrence Leslie (1952 Gunnedah, New South Wales – 2011)
was a member of the Kamilaroi community from Moree (North-West New South Wales). His interest in screen printing began in 1982, when he helped Leigh Purcell print posters. He then went on to create original designs which he and Leigh printed on paper and t-shirts. His designs caught the attention of fashion designer Linda Jackson, who he worked for briefly – developing skills with colour and refining print practices. Capturing both the attention of the art and fashion worlds, Leslie’s artwork was concerned with the language, artefacts and culture of the Kamilaroi people and his designs recall the rivers and land formations.


About the artists

Yipati Kuyata (1946, Ernabella, South Australia  – 1992)
lived and worked at Ernabella Arts. Her artworks include batik and screen-printing and feature practices such as food gathering on Pitjantjatjara lands and subjects from Piltati Dreaming. Kuyata joined Ernabella Arts Inc. in 1965 where she began painting and weaving. In 1975 Kuyata developed batik skills on a trip to Indonesia to the Yogyakarta Batik Institute with fellow artists Nyukana Baker and Jillian Davey. The skills learnt in Indonesia were widely shared with artists in Pukatja and in surrounding communities. This established an artistic tradition. Ernabella Arts are especially well known and celebrated for their batik tulis techniques featuring fluid and non-geometric patterning using the tjanting tool and a style known as Ernabella Walka. Kuyata is one of the early proponents of these techniques.

Tjariya (Nungalka) Stanley (1939 Wingellina / Irrunytju, Western Australia – 2020)
was a Pitjantjatjara woman from the Ernabella community. Throughout her life she became a strong figure within the community who worked across many different art forms from the Ernabella craft room. Stanley painted, made floor rugs, knitted jumpers, wove with grass and raffia, designed ceramics and hand spun sheep wool to crochet mukata (beanies). In the 1970s she was taught batik by Nyukana Baker and went on to become one of Ernabella’s most accomplished batik artists. In making art, Stanley drew on her traditional knowledge as a ngankari (traditional healer). Her artistic practice reflects a strong interest in telling tjukurpa (creation stories) of her country and stories of her family (including the impacts of the nuclear testing at Maralinga) and representing tjukula (rockholes) and flowers.


Acknowledgements & Collaborators

Ernabella Arts Inc. and the Janet Holmes à Court Collection

Exhibiting at

Holmes à Court Gallery @No.10

Situated in the heart of The Pickle District in Gooyaman, West Perth.


10 Douglas Street, West Perth, WA 6005