Shikira Pitjara Petrick was born in 1998 in Alice Springs Hospital. Sheis an Alyawarra woman and lived on the Irrultja outstation, 230 km northeast of Alice Springs, until she was 8 years old. She then moved to Alice Springs with her mother and attended Ilparpa Secondary School, leaving school in 2014. For several years, she travelled country, visiting family and learning about her land. Shikira now lives in Alice Spring with her partner and two children – Lashani, who was born in 2014 and her son born in 2017. She speaks Alyawarra and English, and can also understand Warlpiri.
Shikira has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, since 2015. Yuendumu is a remote Aboriginal community 290 km north-west from Alice Springs and where her partner’s family live.She and her husband visit Yuendumu often. She mainly paints her mother’s Yarla Jukurrpa (Bush Potato Dreaming – Cockatoo), ‘Dreamings’ that relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. These stories were passed down to her by her mother and her mother’s mother before her for millennia. She uses an unrestricted palette to develop a modern interpretation of her traditional culture.
When Shikira is not painting, she spends time with her children and takes care of her Mum, who is a Renal patient in Alice Springs.