About the project
The project’s aim was to increase the wellbeing of the Mutitjulu community through collaborative art making and to provide new income streams for Anangu. Over a six-month period from March to September 2022, a total of 30 sculptures were made from photos of Mutitjulu community papas (dogs).
As the project unfolded, Walkatjara Art responded to the community’s request to expand the original brief from papas (dogs), to create local animals from Uluru-KataTjuta National Park. Mutitjulu elders such as Yuka Trigger requested that as the animals were being created that the tjukurpa (law story) be relayed to the children as they sculpted.
What began as a simple project, supported by the art centre staff, became a major ongoing theme, intrinsically binding culture with finished sculptures that were growing from strength to strength as they created Dreaming Animals.
The interior of the sculptures were made of recycled rubbish (collected from Mutitjulu) and an exterior of wire and plaster.
How we helped
We provided a grant of $5,000 to purchase the first large batch of plaster and wire to create the exterior of the artworks.
The first results of the funded Papa Tjuta project were exhibited in May 2022 at the Toorak Village Sculpture Exhibition in Melbourne. It was the first time an Aboriginal Art Centre had taken part in over ten years of its existence, so the reception and opening night were hugely well received, with more than half the sculptures sold.
As the project has encompassed School Holiday programs, all members of the artist’s families have had the opportunity to be involved in creating work, and this continues to provide an excellent way for children to learn about animal care and cultural stories.
The project brought families together to work on a common goal providing purposeful engagement, and promoting positivity and strength. The Mutitjulu community relies heavily on sales made at Walkatjara Arts for income provided from the Papa Tjuta project.