Full Name: Cynthia Burke
Art Centre: Tjanpi Desert Weavers (as well as Maruku Arts and Warakurna Artists)
Preferred making method: I like all three that I do – punu (woodwork), painting and making Tjanpi (weavings made from grass).
When did you start making art?
My mum showed me how to do punu when I was a young girl. Then I learned to paint in Wingellina. I watched my mum make Tjanpi and helped her and the other ladies collect tjanpi grass and make bush dyes. When I moved back to Warakurna I started making Tjanpi myself. My first Tjanpi sculpture was a flat camel with fluffy sheep wool. My mum used to make flat animals and so I tried to make some too.
What inspires you?
My Country, colours, green grass, dry grass, sand dunes, lakes, burnt country, rocks and hills.
Tell us about your work in this year’s Revealed?
We (myself, Nancy Jackson, Dallas Smythe, and Dianne Golding) made this story about a whitefella named Larry, who was staying and working at the nearby Giles Weather Station, and how Nancy’s sisters would always run and climb up into the tree to get away from him. They would sit in the tree and hide and watch him as he tried to look for them, but he never found them. Those young girls were really clever.
What’s up next after Revealed?
I’m really busy working for Tjanpi as an Arts and Culture Assistant as well as making exhibition work, doing painting and making more punu.