Inner Worlds
Artist KULITJA, Rene
Birth 1958, Ernabella, South Australia (Pitjantjatjara people)
   
Title Wira (carrying dish)
Date 1996
Place Mutitjulu, Central Desert, Northern Territory
Medium etched glass
Dims 38.0 x 20.0 x 6.0 cm
Collection National Gallery of Australia Purchased 1997
AccNo 97.1268
 

Rene Kulitja is an indigenous Australian artist, actively involved with her community and the Mutitjulu Women's Centre in the Northern Territory. She played a major role in aspects of the interior design of the Uluru Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre.

In this work, Kulitja has used the form of the traditional Aboriginal water and food-carrying dish, the coolamon. These utensils were carved from wood and sometimes decorated with incised geometric designs. Kulitja has instead used glass, a modern and industrial material seemingly at odds with traditional Aboriginal craft practices. However, her exploitation of this material's fluidity, lightness and concentrated colour allows her to express the light and abundance of her region and to break away from the restrictions of traditional indigenous craft materials.

 

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click images to enlarge
Red Object # 2, BRUCE, Jane; 1995
Mind Play bowl, GORDON, Kevin; 2001
Guardian 1, HIRST, Brian; 1985, Purchase funded by Wagga Wagga Regional Gallery Society
Wira (carrying dish), KULITJA, Rene; 1996
Not at Home, MOWBRAY, Ian; 1989
Winter Pear and Summer Pear, STADUS, Pam; 1993
Simultaneous voyage 3, WILLIAMS, Maureen; 2000
Crystal Clarity | Coloured Clarity | Inner Worlds | Translucency | Opaque Counterpoint |
 
Wira (carrying dish), KULITJA, Rene; 1996