RAF Case Study | Nintinjaku – Teaching, Showing, Passing on

Over the autumn and winter of 2016 three women’s on-country camps and workshops led by senior Aboriginal women artists/mentors were held, to engage emerging Ernabella artists, in partnership with the APY Land Management Women’s Project.  The camps involved sharing skills in tjanpi (native grass) collecting and weaving, as well as traditional punu (timber) tool making.

This was the first time Ernabella women had worked in this way – collecting and documenting their environment in process diaries. The women have all agreed that this was a highly successful approach which has since influenced and been adapted to the women’s painting practice.

Cultural and Economic Impacts:

  • Artistic excellence achieved through mentoring and collaborative painting
    Artwork Minyma Kutjara

    ‘Minyma Kutjara’ (Near Ernabella), Women’s first Nintintjaku collaborative work, photo by Ernabella Arts


  • Artworks from this project went on to be exhibited in Regional NSW and Victoria
  • Formation of new networks; both within the community and the broader visual arts sector
  • Increased cultural participation for the younger women being mentored
  • Increased employment opportunities for all of the artists involved.

Social Impacts: 

  • Increased social cohesion and community capacity – the practice of the older women teaching not only painting techniques, but handing on important ceremonial knowledge of the Minyma Kutjara tjukurpa to the younger women has inspired the Arts Centre and the community to continue to strengthen and support this format.

Ernabella Arts has since developed further plans and funding applications to support this practice based on the success of the Nintintjaku – Teaching, Showing, Passing on project. For more information, see this collaborative artwork.

Regional Arts Australia acknowledges the traditional Custodians of land throughout Australia and we pay our respect to their Elders, past, present and emerging.