2023 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award

The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory - Larrakia Countrty, Darwin, NT
11 August 2023 - 18 February 2024

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this page contains an image of a deceased person. Image posted at the wish of Mrs Heffernan's family.⁠

We are so proud that late Tjanpi artist, Mrs Heffernan was selected as a finalist for her two spectacular woven artworks in this year's Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA). 

Named Minyma Tjuta! meaning Many Women!, Mrs Heffernan's piece celebrates central desert Anangu women in their Country and features important natural landmarks, scattered across the works, as they are on the land. We thank the family who requested we proceed with her nomination to the NATSIAA following her passing.⁠

Mrs Heffernan talks about Minyma Tjuta! and what it means to her:

“I was thinking of making this story about women.
This is all the Tjanpi ladies doing Tjanpi work. Here you can see the ladies sitting down making Tjanpi… this is a maku tree, there’s another little one over there, and then another two over there. There’s the sandhills, and there’s some rockholes. There’s some children sitting down, there’s ladies collecting maku, there’s the red sandhill, there’s the other red round sandhill. There’s a big waterhole. This is all the women sitting down, singing. There’s all the lovely tjanpi, there’s all the ladies collecting tjanpi and doing their work.
I grew up in Ernabella but I was born in Alice Springs. This shows minyma from Ernabella, Wanarn, Fregon, Mimili… Minyma from Amata, Pipalyatjara… all those places, everywhere.
These are all things ladies do out bush – dance, cooking, singing, watching the children. Minyma Tjuta Tjanpi work… Minyma Tjuta collecting tjanpi… Going out for maku... Sitting near the sandhill, having a picnic, cooking kangaroo tail, maybe doing inma. This is a celebration of women everywhere.
This is a story about women, all the ladies, all those places ladies go out bush. Minyma Tjuta!”

If you are unable to attend the exhibition in person, visit the virtual gallery or check out the NATSIAA website to learn more about the finalists and winners.

Mrs Heffernan with NATSIAA nominated artwork.

Images by Genevieve Harold.