The artist :
Billy Cooley was born on a cattle station and spent much of his life as a stockman. He and his Pitjantjatjara wife, Lulu have always worked closely together raising their six children and making spectacular carvings on their home land near Amata. They have been long term directors of Maruku, working closely with management for decades. In recent years the couple have participated in many exhibitions and carving demonstrations at Uluru as well as nationally and overseas. Billy and Lulu now take great pride in passing on their skills not only to their children but grandchildren as well.
He was born in 1952 and is from Mutitjulu, NT.
Known collectively as punu, the carvings of Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people) have their beginnings in the Tjukurpa when the Creation Ancestors fashioned the first weapons and tools, setting down the laws and conventions of their design.
The Central and Western Desert kali or boomerang is a non-returning one and usually crafted from wanari, mulga wood. It is used for hunting and fighting and in pairs as a percussive instrument for inma or ceremony. Size and shape differ according to the individual craftsman.
“Watingku pungkula tjilpirpungkula kutjarara irira, ayi – mira mira wirura mulapa.” Anangu wati tjilpi
‘A man strikes and splits the wood in two, trims it back, exclaiming with pride – paying close attention to his expert crafting.’ Senior Aboriginal man