WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are warned that this website contain images, voices and names of people who have passed away.

Irrmakara (Running Waters) | Mulga Country | Sand Goanna & Perentie | Thorny Devil

The wonderful Selma Coulthard was born in May 1954 in Alice Springs. Her aboriginal name is Nunay. She is a Pertama Maduthara Luritja Tribe from Urrampinyi (Tempe Downs Station), that is located south-west of Alice Springs in Central Australia.

Selma grew up at Tempe Downs until the government removed her from her family and place her in the mission boarding homes at Hermannsburg (Ntaria), along with other half caste kids.

It was whilst she was at Ntaria where she did her schooling and it was here that her love of art began when she saw the Namatjira brothers painting. Also at the school was fellow artist Ivy Pareroultja.

Now an accomplished artist, Selma paints both in acrylic and watercolour. She paints a lot of different subjects, creating artwork based on her stories including, Mulga Spinifex Country, her country where she grew up and lived, Urrampinyi (Tempe Downs), the oasis in the desert at Urrampinyi , Running Waters at Irrmakara, spiritual keepers of our land, and her dreaming – the Thorny Devil. She also paints other animals in her country and their tracks, women’s ceremonial site (women’s business) and much more.

Observing other artists, Selma’s stories come from her grandmothers and the laws of the land. She recalls her mother and grandmother drawing stories in the sand with a piece of wire. Whilst there are subjects that she cannot paint, one of her subjects is Running Waters. Her father was custodian of this land and now her brothers have taken over this position.

We present here some of Selma’s wonderful works that we have had the privilege of seeing and in some cases watching Selma at work. You can check out some of the local galleries in Alice Springs for works by Selma Coulthard.

Lake Eyre, 2010 © Selma Coulthard
Lake Eyre, 2010 © Selma Coulthard