On an excursion to AGSA Year 3 students encountered Piltati Tjukurpa by Pitjantjatjara artist Rhoda Tjitayi. This installation is about her personal connection to her Country, specifically the women’s sacred place of the honey ant.
Rhoda Tjitayi was born in Pukatja (Ernabella) South Australia in 1969 and today lives and works in Adelaide. This work of art was painting directly onto the Gallery walls spanning across an arched walkway at the entrance of the Gallery, as part of the 2022 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Free/State.
A welcome message was also painted on the wall which said:
Nyaan nyanganyi munu kulini?
(What do you see/hear/feel)
Kuwari nyuntu ngayuku kamiku ngurangka ngaranyi
(Right now you're in my grandmother's Country)
While at the Gallery students discussed the impact the installation had for the viewer by being made especially for this space. Back in the classroom, we continued to be inspired by Tjitayi’s painting and decided to create our own installation. The students created a painting that symbolised something about school that they had a personal connection with and that they really enjoyed. We then combined the paintings into one large collaborative installation at the entrance of our building to welcome people to the Year 3 classrooms.
Students worked together to create cohesive pieces by using a limited colour palette and including similar lines and marks in their paintings that made trails to connect each work of art. Finally, the students installed the work of art in the space, considering the placement of each work so as to captivate visitors, telling them a story about who the students are and welcoming them into our space. - Jess Hancock, Visual Art Teacher
Gloria Strzelecki speaks with 2022 Adelaide Biennial artist Rhoda Tjitayi