Harry Tjutjuna was born circa 1930 at Walytjatjara, north east of Pipalyatjara, near the tri-state border of South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia. He is a Pitjantjatjara speaking Ngankari (traditional healer) and senior law man.
As a young man he moved to Ernabella Mission where he was educated and went on to work on the settlement. His jobs included working on bore sinking, fencing, gardening, and tending to the sheep. The mission's purpose (since its foundation in 1937) was primarily to provide the medical services and education for the local Anangu (Aboriginal people).
Later Harry moved back to the far north-west with his family, living mostly in and around Wingellina, WA, and Pipalyatjara on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, SA.
Harry first started painting in 2005 at Ernabella Arts Centre before moving to Pipalyatjara in 2008 where he now paints at Ninuku Arts. Harry has a few favourite dreamtime stories including Wati Wanka: Spider man; Wati Nyiru, the man who chases the seven sisters; Wati Malu and the Kungka Mingakri’s, the kangaroo man and the female mice. He also paints Kungka Tjuta, young girls doing milpatjunanyi, the traditional way of telling stories in the sand.
His whimsical themes, combined with a masterful use of brush, has quickly positioned Harry as one of the most highly sought-after artists at Ninuku Arts.
'Old generation are here now and i am old generation too. Lot’s of old generation have passed away. What are you going to do? What happens when I pass away?...... New generation got to learn Tjukurpa.’ (Harry Tjutjuna)
Examples of Artist's Work
Wati Wanka 2010 150 x 180cm acrylic on linen
Mutata 2010 168 x 152cm acrylic on canvas