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Emily Cullinan: Tali

Emily Cullinan, Tali

The Artist

According to the JML Gallery,  Emily Cullinan, (born.1952) paints her Country that she travelled with her family as a child and has worked for many years teaching it's important stories in Uluru NT. Emily was born in rugged bush land, close to the Eastern APY community of Mimili. Her father was a respected cultural law man, and taught her and her two young sisters to live a traditional life. Emily did not encounter European settlers until she was a teenager.

Emily and her family used to travel long distances by walking or occasionally hitching wagons to camels and donkeys, they would camp at night inside hand built wiltjas (shelters) in the bush, sleeping in the warm sand. The walk between Indulkana and Mimili regions took her 5 days, she recalls travelling this route many times to visit family.

Tali by Emily Cullinan

The work of art

Emily's powerful paintings depict the iconic water holes, majestic boulders, and river beds she would cross on her journey. In certain respects,  this work is a very powerful  image as it depicts Emily's country . As Emily relates,  '"When I was little we used to do a lot of walking; we'd camp along the way to different Countries. My dad would use a tjuki (digging stick) every day to help us find water. I know this Country, like the way the old people that passed away before us knew it."