Pana (Pintupi-Luritja for ‘sand’ or ‘earth’), Tjulpirpa (Pitjantjatjara for ‘soft sand’), Pilki (Kukaja/Pintupi for ‘sloppy’ or ‘wet mud’) is an exhibition of ceramics by Purple House patients. For the past year, these artists have been working through Visual Art Certificate II subjects at Charles Darwin University to develop their skills in hand building with clay, press moulding, screen printing on clay, design development and painting skills.

CDU Visual Arts Lecturer Melanie Robson said that “many of the women were already skilled painters, so they have been able to transfer those skills to the 3D medium of ceramic design”. The art collection testifies to the technical skills in ceramics that each of the Purple House patients have developed and refined as part of their studies this year.

Art has always been integral to Purple House and the lives of its patients. Sarah Brown explained that, “Art helps keep culture strong in communities, and it’s a powerful way to share knowledge and stories, and an important source of income. Our patients get so much out of their ceramics classes at CDU each week and this is a fabulous opportunity for them to exhibit their artwork”

When asked what she liked about participating in the ceramics course each week, Selina Bob said “good, I feel good. Makes me busy. On renal days I go for ceramics first and then I got afternoon for relaxing. That’s why I feel happy.”

100% of the profits will go to the artists.



You can hear more about the exhibition in this local ABC radio interview.