Bernard Tjalkuri

Bernard Tjalkuri

About Artist:
Bernard Tjalkuri was born by the Waltja rockhole in the bush close to the homeland of Kunumata in the far north west of the Piltantjatjara Lands of northern South Australia in 1930.

Bernardís motherís country is Watarru and his fatherís place is Aparatjara, located near Kanpi community.

Bernard lived a traditional nomadic life in the desert prior to contact with Europeans. He remembers seeing whitefellaís travelling through his country as they headed west to the Warburton Mission when he was a young man.

Bernard has the authority to paint many stories associated with his traditional country He is an important community elder with a wealth of knowledge of the Law or Tjukurpa. This cultural knowledge is handed down orally in the retelling of the Tjukurpa (traditional stories of the ancestor's journeys), which not only sustains Anangu (Aboriginal people) physically, but socially and spiritually. Tjukurpa painting depicts a fragment of a larger story, a living history where an ancestor was involved in creating country. Individuals have authority and ownership of this land and the associated sites and stories. The maintenance of this country is paramount to artists of Watarru and they continue to care and manage the land with respect and responsibility.


2010 - 'Intangibles in Terra Australis', Sala kubo-kutxa in association with Marshall Arts, San Sebastian, Spain
2010 - 'Partnerships', Marshall Arts, Adelaide, SA
2010 - 'Senior Artists - Important New Works', Randell Lane Fine Art, Perth, WA
2010 - 'Tjukurpa Pulkatjara: The Power of the Law', South Australian Museum, Adelaide, SA
2010 - 'Raft Launch', Raft Artspace, Alice Springs, NT
2009 - 'Kulini Ngura - KNowing Country', Short St Gallery, Broome, WA
2009 - 'Desert Mob', Araluen Gallery, Alice Springs, NT
2009 - 'Royal Bank of Scotland Emerging Artist Award', Sydney, NSW
2009 - 'Tali Tjintiri - Tjintiri Munu Kapi Tjukula', Tjungu Palya Print Show, Nomad Gallery, Reflection Room, Holiday Inn, Darwin, NT
2009 - 'Tjukurpa Wirunya Nakyini', Aboriginal and Pacific Arts, SYdney, NSW
2008 - 'Tjukurpa Kutjupa Kutjupa Tjuta', Aboriginal and Pacific Arts, SYdney, NSW
2008 - 'Manta Nyangatja Pitjanjatjara', Short St Gallery, Broome, WA
2008 -'Iwara Mantangka - Land Lines', Randell Lane Fine Art, Perth, WA
2008 - 'Tjungu Palyaku Warka Nyuwana', RedDot Gallery, Singapore
2007 - 'Uwankara Ngura Palya', Randell Lane Fine Art, Perth, WA
2007 - 'Nganampa Nguraku Tjukurpa', Aboriginal & Pacific Arts, Sydney, NSW
2006 - 'Desert Mob', Araluen Gallery, Alice Springs, NT
2005 - 'New Work from the APY Lands', South Australia Museum, Adelaide, SA
2005 - 'Art from the APY Lands', Marshall Arts, Adelaide, SA


Art Gallery of South Australia
Australian National University
The Marshall Collection
The Merenda Collection
The Lagerberg-Swift Collection

2010 - Nunn, Louise. 'Bush Artists Take World By Storm, The Advertiser, March 8
2010 - Bevan, S. 'Exhibition Overshadowed by Death', The West Australian, March 17
2010 - Tjukurpa Pulkatjara - The Power of the Law, exhibition catalogue, Ananguku Arts Wakefield Press
2009 - 'Indigenous Art + Law + Healing, University Club, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA
2009 - Cruthers, John, 'Tjukurpa Mantataja - Stories from the Land', Australian Aboriginal Art, Issue 1, March 2009
2009 - IAD Press, Jukurpa Calendar
2008 - IAD Press, Jukurpa Calendar
2003 - Ngangkari work - Anangu Way: Traditional Healers of Central Australia', Ngaanyatjarra Pitjanjatjara Yankunyjatjara Women's Council Aboriginal Corporation, Alice Springs, NT