Yaritji Young Pukatja (Ernabella), Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yangkunytjatjara (APY) Lands SA, Australia, b. Circa. 1956

Biography

Yaritji Young is a senior law woman and is committed to fostering law and culture. Yaritji was born in Ernabella, South Australia and now resides at Rocket Bore, a homeland north of Amata in Northern Australia. Her works are drawn from the Tjala (Honey Ant) Dreaming. 


Yaritji learnt how to make baskets at Amata and like her other Pitjantjatjara relatives probably learnt it from her Western Australian Ngaanyatjarra relatives when they were visiting in the late nineties. Her style is very creative and she has made a wide variety of humorous objects such as small trucks and camp crockery. Her most favoured objects though are the very large low rimmed baskets decorated with emu feathers. She is also a painter.


Yaritji Young is a traditional owner for Tjala Tjukurpa, near Amata. She paints the rock holes and landmarks of her country, entwined with icons and traditional marks that relate to inma (dance) and tjukurpa (dreaming). The twisted lines and shapes mimic tunnels and formations made by the tjala honey ant.

 

Her individual work is also held in many significant collections including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia and the Queensland Art Gallery. 

 

Young also works with her sisters; Freda Brady, Maringka Tunkin, Sandra Ken and Tjungkara Ken and, together, they form the Ken Sisters also known as the Ken Family Collaborative. In this collaborative the sisters paint together, sometimes simultaneously and sometimes consecutively, on a grounded canvas and, together, they focus on familiar and familial subjects that they share as their birthright.

 

In 2018 the sisters won the People's Choice category at the National Aboriginal & Torees Strait Islander Art Award with their six square metre painting 'Seven Sisters' which tells the Tjukarpa story about the constellations of the Pleiades (the sisters) and Orion (a lusty or bad man) and the sisters attempts to run away/protect each other. 'Seven Sisters' went on to win the 2019 Wynne Prize.

 

Works
Exhibitions
Publications