Carved river red gum, by Topsy Walter (Tjulyata)
Topsy Walter (Tjulyata) - 'Ngintaka' (goanna) (1999), carved river red gum, Maruku Arts, Uluru, Northern Territory. [Purchased by Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, NSW, 2004]
'Topsy Tjulyata began working in arts and crafts at Ernabella in the late nineteen forties and by the eighties had specialised in wood carving. She works closely with her husband Walter Pukutiwara, helping to establish Maruku Arts, andwas a Governing Committee member. Topsy was one of the most expert and widely exhibited Maruku carvers and marks her work with a signature circular walka.
Contemporary carvings by Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people) are known as punu, hand carved and decorated with walka, patterns burnt into the wood with wire heated on a wood fire. The animals all have their associations with the Tjukurpa, the stories of the Creation Ancestors and the activities which shaped the land, the people and their Law.'