ryhia-dank-aboriginal-artist-signature
ELIZABETH CLOSE

First Nations contemporary artist, a Panaka Skin Anangu woman from the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara tribes, currently residing on Kaurna land (SA).

Follow her on Instagram

About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Yanyi Close is a Panaka Skin Anangu woman from the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara Language Groups, whose family links are to the communities of Pukutja and Amata in the APY Lands. 

Elizabeth was born in Adelaide but grew up in outback SA, returning to Adelaide to complete her secondary schooling, and attend University to complete a Bachelor of Nursing and a Graduate Certificate in Emergency Nursing. Elizabeth worked as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department of a busy Adelaide Metropolitan Hospital for a decade, while using art as a means of processing the intergenerational trauma and its impact on her family.

In 2007, Elizabeth began to paint professionally and exhibit her work throughout Adelaide and her practice organically grew as she balanced nursing, art and motherhood. By 2014 she had built up a full-time arts practice, and after the birth of their second child, Elizabeth and her husband decided to move home to the APY so that they could immerse their children in their culture and language.

Elizabeth reconnected with much of her Grandmothers family and learned much more about her family, her Tjukurpa and her Country from her Tjamu. This growth as an Aboriginal woman was profoundly reflected in the evolution of her artwork.

Elizabeth is based in Adelaide and has three Purungu Skin Anangu children; Isaiah Yungana, Emmeline Tjikatu and Bentji Nganantju; and a dingo with no tail.

NAIDOC 2021

THE COLLAB #4

Elizabeth has teamed up with Life Apparel Co in 2021 to create this special edition artwork.

She is currently represented with one design in our retail collection.

Wintjiri

Digital Illustration
2021

Wintjiri is the Pitjantjatjara word for expanse of Country. This work is about the Country that stretches as far as the eye can see, and as far as the spirit can feel.

Country can heal us as much as we can heal it. This work speaks to our ability to look after Country through cultural means, such as traditional fire management and other means of care. It also speaks to Country and its ability to heal us. This relationship is reciprocal.

We are as much a part of Country as it is a part of us. Healing Country is healing ourselves, and healing ourselves is healing Country.

THE COLLAB #3

Elizabeth has teamed up with Life Apparel Co in 2017 to create this special edition artwork.

This collection has sold out.

Inma

Acrylic on canvas
2017

Inma in the Pitjantjatjara language means song, dance and ceremony.

"We have Inma to celebrate, as a form of prayer and for ceremonies where we will dance and sing. This artwork represents the movement and colour of Inma; the ethereal and sacred nature of Anangu ceremony. We move, we sing and we feel and express our dreaming and songlines through our Inma."

THE COLLAB #2

Elizabeth has teamed up with Life Apparel Co in 2016 to create this special edition artwork.

This collection has sold out.

Burnt Scrub

Acrylic on canvas
2016

It depicts the use of leaves, seeds, roots and flowers as part of Traditional Medicine by Ngangkari (Traditional Healer) to mind, body and spirit of Anangu (People of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands).

This sacred knowledge is passed down through the generations. The white dots that overlay the brush strokes depict the ancestral knowledge of how to use Bush Medicine. 

NAIDOC 2015

THE COLLAB #1

Elizabeth has teamed up with Life Apparel Co in 2015 to create this special edition artwork.

This collection has sold out.

SONGLINES

Acrylic on canvas
2015

The concept of songline is deeply important to my people - the Anangu; the Pitjantjatjara people, and to many other language groups. Songlines follow the landscape and depict the dreaming of that place, telling the story of how that landscape came to be, and the Aboriginal connection to the land itself, through the dreaming.

Songlines might follow a creation-being through the landscape - creating sacred places in their wake like the Seven Sisters. Songlines are very important as they document our connection to the land in song, or inma (ceremonial song and dance) so that the stories may be passed down to the next generation.