Punuku Tjukurpa

Explore our very first mobile app, developed especially for Punuku Tjukurpa! Created by Desert Digital, this app is an inclusive, dynamic way to introduce a very special exhibition, enabling a deeper, more engaging experience. The Punuku Tjukurpa mobile app allows for more interaction with the exhibition – you can listen to audio descriptions of selected objects, take a walking tour if you’re at the exhibit, read material from the catalogue and explore educational activities directly related to what you see around you.

The Punuku Tjukurpa mobile app is available for free on Google Play™ and the App Store.

Get it on Google Play App Store



Artback NT, together with Maruku Arts, presents Punuku Tjukurpa, the first touring exhibition of artworks from the Maruku Arts archive, based at Mutitjulu, near Uluru in the Northern Territory. Punuku Tjukurpa opened at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide in March 2015 and will tour to 13 regional and metropolitan venues across five states and two territories until 2018. The exhibition will feature special public programs with artists from the Pitjantjatjara Lands who are based at Mutitjulu and will travel to several venues to share their knowledge and conduct workshops.

With pieces taken from the Maruku archive, a collection comprising of over 400 works and set up in 1984, this exhibition includes 88 punu works, both sculptural pieces and walka boards. Also included are audio and video pieces produced especially for Punuku Tjukurpa.

Click on any image to see an online gallery of works. All images courtesy of Maruku Arts.

Follow the journey of Punuku Tjukurpa from when the exhibition was still in its planning, sourcing and packing stages to its openings around the country.


Audio descriptions of selected artworks in the Punuku Tjukurpa exhibition are available at the venue and delivered via MP3 player. If you would like to use your own device to listen to these audio files, you can do so here.

This exhibition has been curated by the former Director of Maruku Arts, Stephen Fox in consultation with Artback NT Visual Arts staff and Maruku Arts. The material in Punuku Tjukurpa includes works made by three generations of artists for whom the tradition of wood carving and painting has been passed down. Integral to the imparting of these physical skills to the next generation is the teaching of stories that form the basis for the intricate designs and markings. The title of the exhibition, Punuku Tjukurpa, describes the story and the law behind the objects.

The exhibition catalogue and education kit contain further information and activities related to Punuku Tjukurpa. Activity sheets are also available for lower primary, upper primary and lower secondary and upper secondary students.

Maruku Arts was among the earliest Aboriginal collectives supporting artists across the Central and Western desert regions of the Northern Territory, northern South Australia and Western Australia. Established in 1984, Maruku Arts is the trading arm of Anangu Uwankaraku Punu Aboriginal Corporation, which translates literally as ‘wood belonging to all Aboriginal people’.

In November 2014, staff from Artback NT, Maruku Arts and Artlab Australia completed a cross-cultural exchange where art conservation techniques were shared at Mutitjulu. Artlab staff showed how to repair a wooden shield using the arts industry standard Canadian fish glue, and senior artists at Maruku showed how kiti (spinifex or mulga resin) is used to repair artworks both traditionally and in the present day.

We would like to acknowledge the generous financial and in-kind support which enables exhibitions such as this to occur. Funding has been provided by the Australia Council, Northern Territory Government, the Regional Arts Fund, Community Benefit Fund, Artlab and Arts SA. Partner organisations and companies include Maruku Arts, Grace Bros Fine Art, Desert Vision and Nomad Art Productions.

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Artback NT acknowledges the Aboriginal Traditional Custodians of the Country on which we perform or exhibit.