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Maringka Baker: life and works

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By Gwylym Owen

Maringka Baker is an Aboriginal player from central Australia. She lives in the Pitjantjatjara community of Kaṉpi, South Australia, and paints for Tjungu Palya, based in nearby Nyapaṟi. Maringka paints sacred stories from her family’s Dreaming (spirituality). As well as the important cultural meanings they carry, her paintings are known for being wealthy in colour and contrast. She often paints the desert landscape in proficient green colours, and contrasts it adjacent to reds and ochres to depict landforms. She moreover uses layers of contrasting colours to ham it up the detail of the desert in full bloom.

Maringka was born in outback Western Australia regarding 1952. She was born at Kaliumpil, an passй ceremonial and camping site upon the Ngaanyatjarra lands. Her mother and dad died bearing in mind she was a juvenile girl, and Maringka was brought stirring by Anmanari Brown and her further relatives. She went to primary school upon the mission at Warburton, but ran away to member relatives in Ernabella. She well along moved to Kaltjiti, where she finished tall school and got a job as a teacher.

In the late 1960s, Maringka married a man from Papulankutja. They had a daughter, Elaine, in 1969. Maringka’s husband died even though Elaine was nevertheless a baby. Maringka became a health worker and she moved with her daughter to Irrunytju to discharge duty in the local clinic. In the 1980s, Maringka married Douglas Baker (nephew of Jimmy Baker), and they moved incite east to alive at Kaṉpi.

Maringka began painting in 2004. She paints for Tjungu Palya, a community arts middle based in nearby Nyapaṟi. She has become one of the centre’s most Famous painters. Since 2005, Maringka’s do something has been exhibited in many cities in this area Australia, including Adelaide, Alice Springs, Broome, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Overseas, her doing has been shown in exhibitions in Singapore, Seattle and London. Her action is held in the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, the Australian National University, and the National Gallery of Victoria.

In 2007, Maringka was one of thirty artists featured in the first National Indigenous Art Triennial exhibition, Culture Warriors, at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. It showed four of her paintings: Anmangunga (2006), Kata Ala (2006), Ngura Mankurpa (2006), and Kuru Ala (2007). The last of these, Kuru Ala, is a depiction of a sacred women’s site close Tjuntjuntjara that is joined with the creation balance of the Seven Sisters (called Kungkarrakalpa in Pitjantjatjara). It was chosen as a finalist for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2009, and is displayed in the National Gallery in Canberra.

She has works in the collections of

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