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Jean Inyalanka Burke

Warakurna: All the stories got into our minds and eyes


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Jean Inyalanka Burke portrait.
Photo: Edwina Circuitt.

Jean Inyalanka Burke

1945–2012

Jean Inyalanka Burke was a multi-talented artist and storyteller, who had a major influence on the dynamic art scene at Warakurna with her acclaimed three-dimensional works in purnu (wood) and tjanpi (woven fibre). Her paintings built upon this background and extended her storytelling prowess.

Burke was born at a waterhole site known as Arnumarapirti, near Irrunytju (Wingellina). As a child she moved to the mission settlement of Ernabella, in South Australia, with her family.

When her mother died, Burke and her father, Mr Eddie, walked westward to Mount Margaret mission and then to Warburton Mission, where she attended school. Warakurna was Burke's husband's country.