BORN: C.1948, WAKAPULKATJARA, SA
COUNTRY: ANANGU PITJANTJATJARA YANKUNYTJATJARA
Molly Miller was born circa 1948 at Wakapulkatjara, near the tri-state border between South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Miller describes her birthplace as, ‘a beautiful place…lots of rabbits, lots of maku (witchetty grub), lots of honey ants.’
Miller possesses significant credentials as both an artist and arts advocate. She is a co-founding director of Ninuku Arts and a respected elder of the Kalka community. Miller is dynamic and innovative in her creative practice, working across a variety of mediums including soft sculpture and painting.
As a child, Miller was ‘…always walking, around and around, and around.’ This movement is suggested in the composition of her paintings: collective feet tracing the contours of the land in many layers of considered and gently shifting marks. Miller’s works are visual repositories of Tjukurrpa (Dreaming stories), passed down through many thousands of years, bearing testament to a profound and resilient connection to place.
“When I was a little girl we walked everywhere, there were no motorcars then. Always walking, around and around, and around. This is a happy place for me. Looking after children, lots of rabbits, lots of maku (witchetty grub), lots of honey ants. We were really happy back then. This is a beautiful place.” – Molly Miller
In this painting, Miller depicts the rocky Country surrounding her birthplace, Wakapulkatjara, south east of Papulankutja (Blackstone) on the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Lands.
As she paints, Miller recalls her travels between Papulankutja and Mantumaru, traversing puli (rocky outcrops) and tali (sand hills) and stopping at rockholes related to her father’s Tjukurrpa (Dreaming).
The viewer becomes immersed in the painting’s gentle shifts in tone and form. There is no need to gain bearings. Through this work, Miller invites us to travel the contours of her Country beside her, appreciating the rhythmic nuances of her sprawling homelands.