Featured Artists

Kanakiya Myra Ah Chee

Kanakiya Myra Taylor was born in the Australian Inland Mission Hospital in Oodnadatta in 1932 and grew up living in a watuti (lean-to) on the fringes of Oodnadatta township. After the death of her mother her father took his entire family on a camel journey of hundreds of kilometers through his traditional country of the Finke River system. For years they lived out in the open, walking the country with the camels, sleeping under the stars, while her father dug wells and built cattle yards. When the youngest children were old enough, Myra’s father sent them to the Colebrook Home school in Eden Hills, SA, to be educated. After her education was complete Myra began working for Dr Charles Duguid, founder of Ernabella Mission, as housekeeper and receptionist, until she was married to Fred Ah Chee in 1954. After their son Paul was born Myra and family returned to Central Australia, to be near her father and her extended family again. Back in the desert country of her birth, Myra reacquainted herself with her own language of Matuntjara, and became an interpreter and translator of the various dialects of the Western Desert Language, and was a key member of the establishment of the Institute for Aboriginal Development’s Interpreter Training program. She became an artist, painting in acrylics and other media, inspired by her unique life amongst the gibber plains, sand dunes, river systems and stony deserts of her father’s, mother’s and grandparents’ traditional country. In 2021 Myra published her memoir Nomad Girl. Myra has just turned 91 years old and is now retired. She has three grandchildren.


Listening Deeply, Retelling the Journey