Gladys is a Karimarra woman, born near Wantili (Canning Stock Route Well 25). Gladys and her family were picked up in Yulpu when she was a baby and taken first to Parnngurr, then to Jigalong Mission, where she attended the mission school. From there she travelled with her family, first to Strelley Station, and then to Camp 61, an outstation on Bilanooka Station.
We stayed there with the old people, so many old people they set up a Martu school there. Then we heard Martu were going back to their homeland, their ngurra, so then we came to Punmu with those old people.
Settling in Punmu during the Return to Country movement of the early 1980s, Gladys assisted with the establishment of the Punmu School in the Community’s bough shelter. Today Gladys is an accomplished teacher and respected cultural adviser and board member for the Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa Martu Ranger program, Punmu School, and Martumili Artists. Gladys was taught to paint in Jigalong by her aunt, renowned senior artist Jakayu Biljabu, and the two now regularly paint together. Gladys paints her ngurra [home Country] of Wantili, a large round jurnu [soak] and linyji [claypan] near Well 25. Photograph by Claire Martin.