Emily Cullinan was born near Mimili, on the APY Lands in South Australia. Emily and her family lived a traditional Anangu existence; travelling consistently, hunting and collecting bush food along the way and having little contact with non-Indigenous people.
As cattle stations were established in the area, Emily came to work in domestic service at the Granite Downs Station. While working at the Granite Downs stationmaster’s house Emily met her husband, a stockman from nearby Wallatina.
Emily, her husband and their children settled in Iwantja (Indulkana), where Emily continued to pass on to her young family the traditional knowledge of hunting, bush foods and water sources that she learnt from her own parents as a young girl.
These days, Emily is a respected senior woman and an established artist who makes beautiful colourful detailed baskets. She also works at Iwantja Arts creating dynamic paintings inspired by memories of her childhood, living traditionally on country with her parents, and the many journeys they undertook.