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Thir­teen indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties make up the APY (Anangu Pit­jan­t­jat­jara Yankun­yt­jat­jara) Lands, in­clud­ing Pukatja, where Ern­abella Arts was es­tab­lished in 1948. It’s the old­est con­tin­u­ously run­ning indige­nous arts cen­tre in Aus­tralia and a half-day trip by small air­craft is of­fered from Ay­ers Rock air­port to guests of Lon­gi­tude 131 lodge, with the bonus of meet­ing artists and ce­ram­i­cists and per­haps de­sign­ing a tile or see­ing the open­ing of a kiln. The flight swoops over the Mus­grave Ranges and the dome of Mount Con­ner (also known, clev­erly, as Fu­luru, such is its like­ness to Ay­ers Rock). At the cen­tre, con­verted from Pres­by­te­rian mis­sion build­ings, man­ager Han­nah Kothe tells me of the three-week arts res­i­dency in China in 2013 of Derek Jun­gar­rayi Thomp­son and Tjim­puna Williams. The ce­ram­i­cists worked at Jingdezshen, near Shang­hai, a famed cen­tre of porce­lain, and their work has been in­cluded in show­ings at Sab­bia Gallery in Sydney’s Padding­ton. Williams says in­spi­ra­tion comes from her grand­fa­ther’s coun­try and its sto­ries of water snakes, and ex­am­ples are dis­played across Lon­gi­tude 131, in­clud­ing this state­ment piece (pic­tured above) in her sig­na­ture sgraf­fito style. Sab­bia Gallery’s Clay Sto­ries ex­hi­bi­tion be­gins a na­tional tour later this year, kick­ing off at the Jam Fac­tory at Sep­pelts­field in the Barossa Val­ley, South Aus­tralia, from Oc­to­ber 7 to De­cem­ber 10. More: ern­abel­laarts.com.au; sab­bi­a­gallery.com; lon­gi­tude131.com.

SU­SAN KUROSAWA

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