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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Mrs Woods

2013
Karla Dickens

inkjet print on paper, edition 1/1 + A/P (sheet: 76.5 cm x 110.0 cm, image: 66.0 cm x 100.0 cm, frame: 90.2 cm x 122.7 cm)

Tjayanka Woods (d. 2014) was a senior Pitjantjatjara artist and cultural custodian. Born near Kalaya Piti in South Australia, as a child she lived a semi-nomadic life, hunting goannas, lizards and emu and gathering bush foods, travelling by foot, on donkeys and camels and in trucks. Having woven tjanpi, hair and feathers from a young age, she made sculptural, wearable and practical objects, selling her works through the Tjanpi Desert Weavers enterprise. In 2001, she and other senior artists established Irrunytju Arts in Wingellina, a remote Aboriginal community at the edge of the Gibson Desert, where she began painting. She later moved to the Papulankutja community (or Blackstone), working with Papulankutja Artists and inspiring the younger women in the community. Her acrylic on canvas paintings depict the Minyma Kutjara tjukurpa (Two Sisters dreaming) and the Kungkarrangkalpa (Seven Sisters story).

Wiradjuri artist Karla Dickens' work is informed by dreamlike revelations of Country, but also issues of identity, gender politics, spiritualism and the environment. Dickens took this photograph of Mrs Woods in 2013, when the photographer spent a couple of weeks with her and other senior Pitjantjatjara artists researching the Seven Sisters story. The result of her visit was a multimedia work Taking back the stars.

Gift of the artist 2019. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Karla Dickens/Copyright Agency, 2021

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Karla Dickens (age 46 in 2013)

Tjayanka Woods

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Karla Dickens (1 portrait)

Related portraits

1. Mrs Woods and ‘Ere, 2013. All Karla Dickens.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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