Joanne Cooley is the daughter of Billy and Lulu Cooley, a renowned husband and wife carving partnership from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Lands in South Australia. Born in Alice Springs, she was raised in Amata and on the Cooley outstation at Ulaipa on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Lands of northern South Australia. Traditional skills are passed on through the Tjukurpa, the Law and way of life governing country and Joanne's parents have raised their children in this strong tradition.
Joanne has long assisted her parents, going with them to collect wood and then helping to burn some of the design. Selling carvings since about 2001, she specialises in walka boards and has begun replicating her designs on canvas. She now lives in Mutitjulu and enjoys working as a demonstration artist at the Maruku market stall in Yulara. She has also travelled the country to represent Maruku at exhibitions, dot painting workshops and carving demonstrations From 2015 to 2018 her work will be part of a national touring exhibition presented by Artback NT and Maruku Arts. Punuku Tjukurpa features prized works from the Maruku Collection.
Paintings depict the Tjukurpa, the Law and stories of Ancestors. Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people) have responsibilities for the protection and teaching of different Tjukurpa and there are strict protocols for the imparting of knowledge. The dotting technique has evolved with the need to adapt sacred expressions of Tjukurpa for public viewing and as a depiction of the desert landscape.
In this painting the curved lines represents tali or sand dunes. The many dots describe the flora found in the desert landscape and the larger white dots running through depicts a road telling us of travel through the land. This walka, or design, is specific to the Cooley Family. It is handed down from senior wood carvers Billy and Lulu Cooley and evolved from the patterns burnt into carvings with wire heated on a wood fire.
Artist: Joanne Cooley
Title: Tali Tjukurpa
Size: 30cm x 30cm