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Trephina Sultan – Sacred Waterhole Watarrka

$2,900.00 inc. GST

Trephina is an outstanding Luritja artist with a strong sense of colour and composition.  More information about the artwork and artist below.

This is an original acrylic on canvas artwork created by the artist and can be displayed portrait or landscape. The artwork is stretched on a frame, however it can be removed if required.

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  • Title: Sacred Waterhole at Kings Canyon
  • Medium: Acrylic on pre-primed cotton canvas, stretched
  • Year:  2024
  • Size: 89 x 151 cm
  • Artist skin name: Thanguwa
  • Language group: Luritja
  • Artwork certificate provided

NB: The photo of Trephina holding the artwork is the most colour accurate.


Watarrka is the Luritja name for Kings Canyon, 321 km by road southwest of Alice Springs in Central Australia. It is located within Watarrka National Park. There are special places in the area where sacred water can be found. “When we take visitors the elders go ahead to let the ancestors know they are approaching. The visitors are then directed to throw a rock into the water to seek permission to go near.”

Kings Creek runs along the bottom of the canyon, and gives it its name. According to geologists, the valley was formed more than 400 million years ago. It cuts through a layer of Mereenie Sandstone, which was deposited here 400 million years ago. The sandstone can be viewed in the form of 30-m high cliffs, and as you go deeper, you can witness the softer Carmichael Sandstone, which has been present here for 440 million years. These two layers of sandstone are divided by a thin layer of purple shale or mudstone which depicts the environmental changes between the two formations.

Trephina Sultan Biography

Born in 1967 in Alice Springs, Trephina grew up with many uncles, aunties and cousins doting on her as a beautiful young Aboriginal girl, she was the only child in her family.

Trephina Sultan started to paint at a very young age. As a young girl she used to sit and watch her relatives and friends paint for hours at a time. She would then pick up a stick and draw her art in the dirt.

With her mother and auntie, a big influence in her life, Trephina went to the English speaking school at Alice Springs. Even though English became Trephina’s first language, she was taught Luritja, the language of her family and Elders at home. Trephina, in her own words, had the best of both worlds.

The language skill she acquired stood Trephina in good stead. Acknowledged as a Luritja language specialist, she did work as an interpreter and in conjunction with colleagues and the Alice Springs Institute for Aboriginal Development, was a valuable contributor to an Aboriginal-English dictionary.

However, Trephina’s main love is painting. Her artwork drawing on the knowledge acquired in her youth, and the stories her family and Elders passed down. She now lives in Darwin and continues to paint.