Manyitjanu Lennon

Manyitjanu Lennon is from the Watinuma Community on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara / Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands), 350km South East of Uluru. She was born in the desert and is originally from the north of Watarru, around Aralya and Kunytjanu. She is a highly respected senior elder and holds extensive cultural knowledge.

Manyitjanu married and moved to Fregon (also known as Kaltjiti Community) when it was established in 1961. Fregon is situated in the far northwest corner of South Australia in the APY Lands; it is approximately 1300kms from Adelaide by road. Manyitjanu was involved in the Fregon Choir, helped set up the Fregon Craft room, as well as the Fregon School with Nancy Sheppard.

During her time at Ernabella, she learnt numerous arts and crafts spinning and dying wool, batik tie dying and wool carving (punu). She is currently involved in basket weaving with Tjanpi desert weavers and painting at Kaltjiti Arts. Manyitjanu often paints her mother's country west of Kaltjiti and south of Watarru in South Australia. As Manyitjanu describes the country: 'Mamungari'nya is a long way away. It is over the other side of the sand dunes past Tipilnga, a place where many white trees grow. This is the place where women came and were turned into the white marble gums on the sand dune south of Watarru - this is a tjukurpa story. So, this is Mamungari’nya where lots of little gum saplings and emu bush grow. This is a place of claypans and a women's site.'

As a senior artist at Kaltjiti Arts, Manitjanu also works on major collaborative pieces, which are used to teach younger generations skills in painting technique and storytelling, ensuring rich cultural integrity is maintained. Manitjanu has five children and four grandchildren.


  • Araluen Art Centre
  • Artbank
  • Art Gallery of Ballarat
  • Kerry Stokes Collection

Awards and Recognition

2017 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney - Finalist


Selected Group Exhibitions

2021 Kaltjiti Ladies, New Work from the APY Lands Artists, Yaama Ganu Gallery, Moree, NSW
2020 Nganana Paitamilani Tjitji Tjuta-Ku Munu Anangu Tjuta-Ku - We are painting for our children, Paul Johnstone Gallery, Darwin
2020 Painta Wirunya - Beautiful Paintings, Yaama Ganu Gallery, Moree, NSW
2020 Director's Choice 2020, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2018 Desert Mob, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs
2018 Steadfast-Works from Kaitjiti, Short St Gallery, Broome
2017 RedPoles, MacLaren Vale
2017 Desert Mob, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs
2017 Kaltjiti Artists: Continuing Our Story, Paul Johnstone Gallery, Darwin
2017 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2017 Constellation, Paul Johnstone Gallery, Darwin
2016 Nganamp Kililpi - Our Stars, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, NSW
2016 Desert Mob, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs
2016 Salon de Refuses, Charles Darwin University Gallery, Darwin
2016 Aboriginal & Pacific Art, Sydney
2016 A Song and a Prayer for our Friend, RAFT Art Space, Alice Springs
2015 St Ignatius Art Show
2015 Wintjiri Gallery, Yulara NT
2013 Marshall Arts Gallery, Adelaide
2000 Palupurunypa Palu Kutjupa: Same But Different, South Australian Touring Exhibitions Program, various venues in South Australia