Kathy Maringka Roberts

Artist Kathy Maringka Roberts
Date of Birth 1954
Language Pitjantjatjara
Art Centre Kaltjiti Arts


Kathy Maringka was born in the bush, near Ernabella on the APY Lands. Her family moved into the mission at Ernabella and she went to school there, before moving to Victory Downs, a cattle station near Ernabella. Kathy worked as a Cultural Tour Guide at Uluru, guiding tourists and cleaning and washing dishes at the tourist camp. Kathy returned to Ernabella to marry her husband Johnny Roberts and together they have five children and numerous grandchildren.

As a young woman in Ernabella, Kathy started work at the art centre and learnt to sew, spin wool and make rugs. Kathy and her family moved to Fregon in the 1970s, when it was still a mission outstation. At the Fregon craft room Kathy learnt batik techniques and painting with acrylics on canvas. Kathy is a respected member and leader in her community ans iis know for her quiet yet strong leadership skills. She worked for worked for Centrelink and as the Chairperson of Fregon Community Council for many years. She is also a longstanding board member of Kaltjiti Arts and is a renowned artist and known for her depictions of Tjulpun-tjulpunpa - Desert Wildflowers.

Kathy like most artists from Fregon have individual and unique styles. Initially, most artists were younger women or were from traditional Country that was men’s business, and they did not paint Tjukurpa. Instead, the women developed imagery which was based in the landscape and storytelling of everyday life called milpatjunanyi. These intuitive, spontaneous images developed into colourful and complex works. The academic description of “meaningful marks or patterns” became the distinctive style known as walka. Originally used on weavings, these were transferred to all other mediums in particular batik and painting and is still featured in Kaltjiti artworks today.




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