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Monica Watson

Ninuku Arts

Puntjina Monica Watson was born in 1943 at Pukara, an important and sacred rock hole in Western Australia. Pukara is one of the sites of the ‘Wanampi tjukurpa’, the water snake Dreamtime story. As a young girl, she walked from Western Australia to the community of Pukatja in South Australia, alongside her father and his three wives. The youngest of her father’s wives was prominent artist, Wingu Tingima.

Monica worked in the craft room at Pukatja before marrying Wimitja Watson, a ‘Ngangkari’ (traditional healer), and moving to Amata. They went on to have many children. During the late 1970s and the “Homeland Movement”, the Watson family returned to their traditional home lands, and settled into the community of Pipalyatjara. Monica continues to live in Pipalyatjara today, where she is a much respected elder. Wimitja was also heavily involved in cultural business up until his passing in 2017.

Monica is well known for her quirky use of vibrant colours and composition, often framing her paintings with an intricate border created by a plethora of colourful dot work. Monica is also a passionate and committed artist, painting almost every day at Ninuku, and has established herself as one of the centre’s leading artists.