Evelyn Pultara was born circa 1940 on the Woodgreen cattle station adjoining the infamous Utopia station. Hailing from the Utopia region of the Northern Territory and with an artistically gifted family including her aunt the late great Emily and brother Greeny Purvis, it is no wonder that Evelyn has come to be a talented artist in her own right.
As an Anmatyerre woman and mother of six children Evelyn has lived an eventful traditional life. It was not until 1997 that Evelyn began painting. Evelyn initially began painting with an emphasis on the more traditional themes of bush tucker and the awelye or women’s body paint designs. As time progressed, Evelyn perfected her technique and now exclusively paints her totem which is shared with the late Emily, the Bush Yam. The Bush Yam, or pencil Yam has been a significant source of food and water for the Aboriginal people for thousands of years. As Evelyns totem, in Aboriginal culture it is her responsibility to tribute and respect the bush yam through the mediums of song, dance, ceremony and now art.
Evelyn uses an acrylic paint in bold and rich colours on canvas conveying vibrant linear and swirling patterns to depict her totem. What transgresses from her creative mind onto canvas is Evelyns own interpretation of her totem the Bush Yam. As a result her work continuously bears a distinction of originality and style, separating her work from others.
Now residing in Wilora of the Northern Territory, Evelyn continues to paint in a contented manner. Her work is highly sought after and respected in the Aboriginal art world. Evelyn was the winner of the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2005, a great honour and only further acknowledging the immense talent of Evelyn Pultarra.