Beryl Jimmy is a Pitjantjatjara woman living in the community of Nyapari in the far north west of South Australia, part of an area referred to as the Western Desert. She was born in 1970 at Watarru, a recently closed community in the south of the APY Lands.
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 the 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 ancestors’ 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.