• Artwork:Yam Dreaming
  • Artist:Evelyn Pultara
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Yam Dreamingby Evelyn Pultara

This beautiful card features an artwork titled Bush Yam Dreaming. The Bush Yam is a staple food and water souce for Aboriginal people of Utopia in Central Australia. Antwelarr, its Aboriginal name for Bush yam is celebrated in Awelye ceremonies.   Homage is paid to the spirit of Antwelarr through songlines, body paint and dance cycles.

  • Artist:Evelyn Pultara
  • Title:Yam Dreaming
  • ID:EPGC007
  • Medium:Blank card
  • Size:7 x 5 cm
  • Region:Utopia, Central Australia


Evelyn Pultara was born in approximately 1940 and comes from Woodgreen Station, located in Utopia in Central Australia. I (Sabine Haider, Director of Central Art) have known Evelyn since 2004 and she was one of the original artists that I had the privilege of working alongside. Evelyn is from the Anmatyerre language group in Utopia and is the sister of Greeny Purvis Petyarre, another well known Utopian artist who sadly passed away in 2010. She is also the niece of the famous and late Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

A mother of six children, Evelyn has grown up in her traditional homelands surrounding Utopia and raised her children there. She began painting in 1997 and started out depicted more traditional designs such as bush tucker and Awelye (women’s ceremonial body paint designs) however she has progressed rapidly and is an outstanding artist in her own right.

She now exclusively paints her plant totem, the Bush Yam (or also referred to as the Pencil Yam). The Aboriginal word for this is Atnwelarr, and it has been an abundant source of food and water for the Anmatyerre people for many years. The Yam is a slender twining plant with yellow pea flowers and edible tubers. As her totem it is Evelyn’s responsibility to pay homage to the Bush Yam through song, dance and ceremony. As a modern outlet for this, she pays homage to the Bush Yam through her art.

She has also taught her daughter, Rachael Nambula the Bush Yam Dreaming, they both share similar styles however Evelyn’s brush strokes are much more controlled and precise whereas Rachael’s create a fiery of colour and lines. Central Art is pleased to also work with Rachael Nambula.

Evelyn typically uses acrylic paints on canvas and as an extension of her art is able to strengthen her personal connection with the Bush Yam and her environment as well as educate and inform art lovers from around the world. Evelyn now lives in Willowra, another Aboriginal community in Central Australia with her husband. She is a shy and quiet woman who rarely gives away more than necessary about the context or content of her paintings. Her artworks are bold and rich with colour, they are beautiful to observe, and I always feel that underneath is a map filled with information and knowledge about Anmatyerre life, culture and history.

Evelyn’s works can be found in several important and well known collections around Australia and her works have been exhibited in Australia and overseas. In 2005, she was awarded first prize in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award for her entry into the general painting division. I recommend her artworks to all who appreciate her style. Now an elder, Evelyn has had a wonderful career and been recognised for her talent on the ultimate stage.

All the paintings that she has produced for Central Art were painted with passion and this can clearly be seen in the Central Art collection. Her choice of soft feminine colours accompanied by strong thick brush strokes is masterful. I still see her around Alice Springs during her shopping trips.

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