Niningka Lewis hails from the Areyonga region, about 220km West of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, where the population amounts to some 300 people.  Walka Board means ‘design board’, and it shows two communities – or one community split in two: there are the people ‘below’ the creek and those ‘above’.

In effect, the painting represents the indigenous population at a crossroads between a nomadic and a settled way of life. The church located at the centre of the painting is the ideological hub of the introduced, Westernised way of life established on ancestral territory.

Technically, Niningka Lewis’s image is a hybrid and it, too, constitutes a ‘crossing’: it is a vivacious blend of easel-painting and the decorative pointillism of indigenous poker-work.

Image: Walka board 2015 acrylic paint on board (plyboard) 900 x 900 mm
Australian National University Art Collection

Updated:  18 April 2017/ Responsible Officer:  DHG Director/ Page Contact:  Drill Hall Gallery