sabbia gallery

Ceramics, Glass + Fibre

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Thomas Ilytjari Tjilya, Ngayukuk Walka I, 2017, stoneware with sgraffito, H 22.5 x D 19cm

Thomas Ilytjari Tjilya

Ceramic Artist, APY Lands, South Australia, Australia

My grandfather’s Country is Malara and my father’s place is Kunamata. I can’t put that story onto canvas or ceramics because it is a sacred place; a men’s place. Both my father and grandfather made Kulata (spears) but I learned how to make Kulata on my homeland (Racecourse). I had a really good teacher, Mr William Sandy, my great tjamu (uncle) who is known for making kulata wiru (good spears). I started creating this design, making the lines on the clay, at an Ernabella Arts ceramics workshop in 2015. Later I looked at those lines and I thought they resembled Urtjanpa (a long piece of thin timber) that we cut to make Kulata. I feel good when I’m in the ceramics room making these pots because they remind me of the Kulata we made on my homeland.