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Dorcas Tinamayi Bennett

“I was born in the bush at Wurturu rock hole near Kaltukatjarra (Docker River)”. After her birth, her mother and father walked with her to Warburton Mission where she was given her English name by the missionary Mr. Will Wade.

Her parents returned, walking with Dorcas to the Warakurna - Tjukurla area. Although soon after they had to leave due to the radiation exposure from the atomic testing in Maralinga “the funny smell made a lot of people sick”. Her family met Mr. Bob McAuley and traveled with him in the renowned yellow Native Patrol Officer’s truck to the Amata settlement. They then travelled by camel to Areyonga where Dorcas began to attend school.

Dorcas and her family returned to the Warakurna homeland when it was established in the mid-1970s. “In 2005 we started painting on paper then on canvas, the old shop turned into an art centre, that’s where we all started doing painting” Dorcas is the current Chairperson for Warakurna Artists. Dorcas Bennett is the daughter of Nyurupayia Nampitjinpa (Mrs Bennett) a senior artist for Papunya Tula Artists. Dorcas’s paintings are prefigured by her mother’s Tjukurrpa (dream time), encompassing the country between Tjukurla and Warakurna.

Mother's Story
1000mm x 2150mm
acrylic on linen