Tjariya is a Pitjantjatara woman, born in Wingelina in 1939. Until recently, she went by her birth name Nungalka, but has changed to Tjariya following a death in the community. She lives and works in Ernabella and has two daughters, one of which is also a very good artists (Renita). Tjariya has been invovled in the art centre for a long time and has mastered several different mediums. Initially she assisted in making floor rugs, painting moccasins and knitting jumpers, the first enterprise undertaken by the Ernabella craft room. In the 1970's she learnt batik from Daisy Baker following her visit to Indonesia, and has developed into one of Ernabella's most accomplished batik artists. She has also taught herself weaving with grass and raffia (tjanpi) and crocheting mukata (beanies) with the sheep wool that she still hand spins. More recently she has also developed as a painter and ceramic designer, and uses these mediums to tell tjukurpa (creation stories) of her country and family, or uses designs of the landscape such as tjukula (rockholes) and flowers.
Tjariya is a stalwart of the community and the heart of the art centre. Her traditional knowledge is strong and deep and she is also a ngankari (traditional healer). She is an excellent story teller, and delights in telling stories of when she was a young girl growing up in Ernabella mission. Her grandson Ngunytjima has also recently joined the artcentre in the ceramics studio, and is fast becoming an accomplished potter, indicating that creative talent runs deep in Tjariya's family.