Intricate dot work forms beautiful web-like designs of Aboriginal art that tell the stories of artist Margaret Loy Pula’s Anmatyerre heritage.
Margaret Loy Pula hails from an incredibly distinguished artistic family. She is the daughter of award winning artist Kathleen Petyarre and the mother of Abie Loy Kemarre. Margaret’s aunties are the famous Petyarre sisters – Ada, Nancy, Myrtle, Violet and Gloria all of whom are established artists and whose works hang in collections both in Australia and overseas.
Whilst Margaret was exposed to art for much of her life with both her mother and aunties practising traditional story telling via visual records, Margaret did not pursue her own art until 2007. However, her skill in depicting traditional stories of her homeland was quickly recognised with multiple awards and international exhibitions now to her name.
In 2012 Margaret was the first Indigenous artist to win the prestigious Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize in South Australia. In 2011 she was the first female artist to win the Sunshine Coast Art Prize and in the same year the first female artist to win the Paddington Art Prize (Sydney). In 2017 she won both the Tattersalls Art Prize in Brisbane and the Arthur Guy Memorial Prize in Victoria.
Pula’s primary subject matter is ‘Anatye’, the wild yam or bush potato, together the precisely placed tiny dots form a topographical map that depicts how the bush potato naturally grows. The plant is an important food source to the Anmatyerre people who hail from Utopia in Central Australia. But, more than just a source of sustenance the yam holds a deep spiritual significance to the Anmatyerre people.
In 2017 Pula exhibited in New York alongside rewnowned Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch and has also exhibited at some of the world’s top art fairs including Singapore, Miami, New York and Mexico City.
Margaret has also won the Muswellbrook Art Prize (2013), Redland Art Prize (2014) and the Grace Cossington Smith Art Prize (2014). She has been a finalist in the Wynne Prize (2012), Sulman Prize (2013), Blake Prize (2013), Gold Coast Art Prize (2011), Fleurieu Art Prize (2013), Calleen Art Prize (2015).
Margaret Loy Pula is represented by Mitchell Fine Art, Brisbane.