Artist Lynette Lewis
Title Tjala (Honey Ants)
Year 2022


Dimensions 52 × 14.5 cm
Art Centre Ernabella Arts →

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Lynette Lewis

Lynette Lewis began her role as an art worker at Ernabella Arts at the start of 2015. Prior to this, Lynette had done tjanpi (weaving) at home and years earlier created a suite of prints at the art centre. Lynette attended the Australian Ceramics Triennale in Canberra with three other artists in 2015. In 2016, Lynette worked alongside seven other Ernabella potters to create a collaborative ceramics installation for the Indigenous Ceramics Art Award at the Shepparton Art Museum, Victoria. Since then, Lynette’s work has appeared in exhibitions across Australia and internationally.

Artist statement

Tjala or honey ants live in nests about a metre underground beneath mulga trees, and are a highly favoured food source. The tjala tunnels that lead down to the ants’ nests are called nyinantu, and the larvae are called ipilyka-ipilyka . After the rain when the ground is soft the women go digging for tjala by looking for the drill holes under the trees. They then use shovels and crowbars to dig down following the tunnels to find the tjala inside.