While painting with peers at Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, Rosie Tarku King often tells a story of herself: how she walked out of her home in the Great Sandy Desert with her sister, Penny, aged around sixteen. Rosie and Penny continued to walk, and walk, across the Pilbara over the course of their lives. There are flashes of detail available to us, as a public audience, in the story of these lives: various stations, towns, and places that they have passed through, from Billiluna Station to Fitzroy Crossing, and now, accounts of their thirty years at Mangkaja. No written record exists to show Rosie’s precise year of birth, and the verbal account that she is able to give of her history has also gradually shadowed as she has started to experience memory loss in her ninth decade. Painting remains a vital way for Rosie to touch the live wire of the life she lives and has lived, and the culture and relationship to Country which are braided through it.
Rosie Tarku King was a finalist in the 2020 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA) at the Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory. She was awarded The Kathy Donnelly Award in the 2021 Jury Art Prize in Western Australia and was selected as a finalist in the 2022 Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales for her work Wind Blowing. Her works are included in the collection of the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the National Museum of Australia.