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Niningka Lewis
Niningka Lewis

Mutitjulu, Uluru, NT, Australia, Australia

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Artwork Description

The mimpu or deep wooden water carrying bowl is a traditional woman’s vessel designed especially for transporting water. It usually carved from a knot or scar on the trunk of a Desert Bloodwood or a curved root section of the River Red Gum tree. Contemporary artists use walka, patterns burnt into the wood with wire heated on a wood fire. These relate Tjukurpa, stories about the Tjukuritja or Creation Ancestors and the activities which shaped the land, the people and their Law. Many of the details of Tjukurpa are restricted to senior custodians so it is not possible to describe the full story behind the walka.

Series of curving lines are often described as parts of the country: wind rippled sand dunes, intercut by the tracks of a Tjukuritja; the burrowings of animals; or the dry bed of a desert creek. Circles can be waterholes, campsites, eggs or headrings. In telling stories, women sit flicking sticks in the sand as they talk and they say walka is like this, the rhythmic strokes that accompany stories.

This work is a melding of the traditional mimpu with a contemporary vase shape is inspired by her ceramic work with Ernabella Arts. The fusion of Niningka’s visionary skills combined with her ability to then materialise a piece exactly as she has pictured in her mind is extraordinary.

Niningka brings a whole new meaning to traditional art with an eccentric, contemporary energy.

This painting needs to be framed or stretched. It’s also being sent direct from the artist at a remote art centre, Maruku Arts, in Mutitjulu, Uluru, NT. Please note there is only one mail plane a week that takes the artwork to Uluru. The tracking information is then received a week later when the mail plane returns so often the painting are delivered before we receive the tracking information. Please expect a slightly longer wait for this very special artwork to arrive.


Mimpu, deep wooden water carrying bowl: Iṯaṟa ~ River red gum, Acrylic paint

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Unframed (requires framing)

This artwork is currently unframed and requires framing.

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