Emrhan Tjapanangka Sultan was born and raised in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, with strong connections to his mother’s culture of the Western Arunda (Arrernte) and Luritja tribes of the Western Desert, and to his father’s tribe the Kokotha Peoples in South Australia.
Emrhan was taught how to paint the stories that connected his family, on his mother’s side, to their country throughout the Western Desert; and his art is strongly connected to lineage and bloodlines of growing up in Central Australia. His grandmother and mother is the source of his inspiration.
“I remember visiting with my Grandmother, sitting and watching her prepare the canvas for her next painting. Her styles were usually done of the honey ants dreaming. My mother would also paint the honey ants dreaming as well as different styles of bush tucker stories - wild banana, wild passionfruit, yams and others. Both would relay to me that these stories were important for us as kids to learn and know about”
Emrhan’s grandfather from the Western Arunda tribe passed away when Emrhan’s mum was still young. Through family stories Emrhan was told of his grandfather’s dreaming, the rainbow serpent, around the Boggy Hole near Hermannsburg, NT.
In his early teenage years, Emrhan dabbled in painting for special projects in school. So it’s no surprise he officially took up painting and designing in his early 30’s.
In 2016 Emrhan decided to take up painting as a hobby, and released some designs onto clothing and some accessories. This is when ‘Welcome to my Dreamtime by Emrhan Tjapanangka Sultan’ was established.
At the beginning of 2019 became known as Mukulri Art. Mukulri in the Arrernte/Arunda language translates to 'deadly'. The re-branding was done in a joint consultation with Emrhan and his family members.
This current part of Emrhan’s journey is to share his culture and connection to country with anyone who chooses to learn more about him. “My contribution may be small, but it builds on what is there and provides a stronger foundation for those who come next.” This resonates just as importantly for the younger generation of family members.“ I want to leave a legacy where the next generation of our family line, and the ones who come after, can learn about their stories.”