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Beryl Jimmy: Watarru

Beryl Jimmy, Watarru

The Artist

Beryl Jimmy is a Pitjantjatjara woman living at the community settlement of Watarru, in the far northwest of South Australia, part of an area referred to as the Western desert. She was born in 1970. Beryl’s work is inspired by a deep connection to country, and her spiritual links to the desert are expressed with integrity, beauty and creativity. Traditional knowledge of food collection and water sources were vital for survival in this dynamic desert landscape and is a prominent theme in her work.
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.

Watarru by Beryl JImmy

The Work of Art

Painted around 2009/2010, The work of art is a screenprint  (one of 10) that depicts the country that Beryl lives in. The circles represent the many meeting places in the landscape.

Watarru is a small community in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytajatjara (APY ) land in South Australia. It is situated 550 kilometres south west of Alice Springs and is situated close to Mount Lindsay in the Great Victorian Desert. The  community began to flourish in the 1990s after being established by a small family group of Anangu.