Patricia Gunter

Arts Ceduna

Patricia Gunter was born in 1967 in Ceduna. She is also known as Wandjeri, an Aboriginal name that was given to her by her grandmother. As a certified national interpreter of the Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara language, Patricia continues to extend her unique knowledge onto future generations of her peoples. She particularly enjoys speaking her languages with her children and grandchildren, and when she visits her waltja (family) on Country in Yalata, Oak Valley and the APY Lands in central Australia. Having learnt her painting, craft and storytelling skills from her grandparents, she started out drawing symbols and patterns in the sand with her Elders. Says Patricia: “I remember hearing about the significant symbols and stories, and their meanings told by my grandparents”. She also would help her Elders collect unique seeds and plant materials for jewellery making, and wood for carving and burning traditional artefacts from Kaddia wood. Another unique skill Patricia learned from her Elders was how to collect ochres and sand, the traditional mediums used in paintings. Having painted for more than fourty years, Patricia still uses the red munda (land), mixed with impasto to create contemporary paintings of Country. The rich reds are complimented with carefully selected accents and small details in contrasting colours. She skillfully uses a variety of tools to create rich textures, lending three-dimensionality to her paintings that carry stories of healing or the Ngangkari (healer) that can take away illness that negatively affects body, mind and spirit. This is also why Patricia engages in additional cultural practices such as collecting and making traditional bush medicine for healing and wellbeing.