Betty Muffler was born near Watarru in South Australia and now lives and works in Indulkana in the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. She is a highly respected senior woman and artist at Iwantja Arts, with her practice spans painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture. Muffler is also a renowned ngangkari (traditional doctor), a practice that has been handed down through her father’s family and taught to her by her aunties. Alongside her rigorous art practice, she works extensively with Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council and other medical practitioners to support Aṉangu to good health and through times of crisis.

Reception students began learning about Betty Muffler by watching her AGSA artist video as well as one by Vogue, which allowed students to hear directly from the artist. We discussed ideas around creating your own mark that belongs to you as well as contributing as part of a community by leaving your mark.

The children created an individual wall hanging using paint slicks and cartridge paper in which they made marks that represented themselves and their environment. Students then chose a symbol and colour which they could then repeat onto each other's painted surfaces, making the pieces collaborative in nature, with each mark symbolic of the uniqueness in our school community.

The paintings were finished with wooden sticks and beaded handle, which the children made, helping to practice their threading skills. Art helpers had previously learnt how to make the wool tassels and the Reception children had a choice of tassels they could use to embellish their work.

- Sharon Lynch, Visual Arts Specialist, Immanuel Primary School

Reception Immanuel Primary School