Artist: Cynthia Burke
Punu is the Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara word for wood, and refers to the traditional artefacts carved from local hard timbers, usually mulga. The design is applied using hot wire to burn traditional stories and patterns into the surface of the wood. Cynthia is a master Punu maker.
About the artist:
Cynthia Burke is an artist belonging to the Ngaanyatjarra language and cultural group.
Cynthia is a keen artist whose creative and arts practice covers a broad range of disciplines. Cynthia was taught weaving skills by her mother, the renowned artist and Tjanpi staff member Jean Burke (dec.). In 2013 Cynthia contributed weaving and media skills to Tjilkamarta Minyma Kutjarra Munu Wati Ngirntaka Warta (Two Porcupine Wives and Perentie Man Tree) that was part of the String Theory exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney NSW. In 2012 she exhibited fibre art at the Fingers and Petals exhibition at Ellenbrook Gallery in Perth. More recently she was a finalist in the 2015 Outback Open Prize at the Broken Hill Art Gallery NSW, and exhibited at Revealed 2017 at Fremantle Arts Centre WA.
For a number of years, Cynthia has painted for Warakurna Artists and has exhibited her paintings all over Australia and overseas. Likewise, she has nationally exhibited her punu (wood carvings) with Maruku Arts.
In 2016 Cynthia began working with Tjanpi Desert Weavers at the remote office in Warakurna. In this time, she has learnt to run the core operations of this office and visits over eight communities to support Tjanpi artists. She also co-produced the Tjanpi animation Ngayuku Papa with animator Jonathan Daw, telling the story of her dog Tiny as well as being a key collaborating artist in a project with FORM and Polyglot Theatre.
She was born in Alice Springs in 1973 and now spends her time between Warakurna and Irrunytju (Wingellina) communities in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands of Western Australia.
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