Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Kapi Punungka | Water in the Wood

Cynthia Burke


  • Year


  • Medium

    Muur-muurpa | Desert Bloodwood

  • Size

    84 x 24 x 25cm

“I learned burning by watching my mother and other family members. I enjoy the burning process and how my designs grow on the wood. The sculpture represents the story of water. After the rain, the water flows in the creeks and fills the waterholes. In the old days, Yarnangu walked around from waterhole to waterhole to survive and by doing so, followed the ancestral tracks. I like to represent and remember this on my sculptures. My work represents the trees that lead us the way to find the water and the water is within them and around them, even if we can’t see it, their roots will still touch it.”

Revealed 2023 Artist Cynthia Burke

  • Born


  • Lives & Works


Cynthia Burke was born in Alice Springs and grew up in the central desert of Western Australia. An internationally exhibited painter with Warakurna Artists, Cynthia also works with Tjanpi Desert Weavers and is one of Maruku’s foremost up and coming wood carvers. In 2014, she became one of its youngest directors. She carries on the traditions of the Tjukurpa, the Law and way of life governing her country. In this work, Cynthia employs the technique of Walka, traditional desert design which is inextricably linked with Tjukurpa: the law and way of life of Yarnangu (Western Desert Aboriginal people). The symbols were traditonally used in cave, ground, and body paintings, in storytelling, teaching and signalling inheritance.

Read More

visit FOUND at Fremantle Arts Centre

Open 9am–5pm, 7 days


1 Finnerty Street
Western Australia