Introduction to Tjukurba
“Tjukurba” is translated from Matu to mean “Dreaming”. The gallery provides local artists with the space to dream and embrace creativity.
The Tjukurba Gallery workshop space provides artists with professional quality materials, and support from Community Services Officers to assist in developing themselves as artists, and professionally with sales and promotion of their work. The gallerys motivation is ensuring the artists are supported in their goals, by making sure the they receive a majority percentage of sale profits.
The gallery now combines professional and contemporary exhibition spaces with the beautiful historical features of the original, heritage-listed building. Situated on Scotia Street, the gallery has now grown into an important part of the community and displays a wonderful selection of paintings, all locally produced by the Birriliburu, the clan of Martu people specific to this region.
Artists draw inspiration from the stunning landscape in the region that can be seen along the Canning Stock Route and Gunbarrel Highway. Local artists are also inspired by their own experiences and memories from places like the clay pans, at rock holes such as North Pool and Bowanoo, aswell as the local bush foods and wildflowers.
Bush foods include witchetty grub (Lunki), bush bananas (Gunkula), bush tomatoes (Gungili), kangaroo and quandongs.
History of Tjukurba Gallery Site
The Tjukurba Gallery building itself holds decades of rich history. The quadrant was originally built in the early 1900s as the “Wiluna District Hospital”. At its peak in 1937-38, it held 31 beds, 30 staff and 3 doctors. The hospital was over staffed and all nurses were paid as Sisters – regardless of their training, experience or responsibilities. The hospitals finances were under stress due to poor management, practises and low morale. No amount of brandy was going to fix the issues at the hospital. However doctors seemed to think Brandy was a great fix-all, with the doctors ordering it for many patients, resulting in four times the amount used the the Wiluna District Hospital then any other hospital its size. The Hospital Board was duly dismissed.
The hospital closed in 1967 and became the Shire of Wiluna Offices. The building has undergone many renovations since then, with the addition of what is now the Tjukurba Gallery. The remaining “Wiluna Hospital” buildings are now the Discovery Centre, where the history of Wiluna will be displayed for visitors, tourists and the community.
In December, 2005, Tjukurba Art Gallery was officially opened by the Shire of Wiluna, as a venue for creative expression, and to celebrate the culture of the Matu people.
Since this time, the Gallery has seen many artists and been under operation of different managements. All with the same goal to engage the community, embrace cultural creativity, and encourage artist development.
Open Weekdays – 9:00am to 4:30pm.
Closed Public Holidays, Christmas and New Year period.
Please come in and have a yarn with the local artists and see what they have been working on in the meantime!
Tjukurba Art Gallery and the Shire of Wiluna acknowledge and pay respect to the traditional custodians of the land where we reside, the Birriliburu.