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Selina Numina Napananka / Water Dreaming (8A)
145cm x 97cm Acrylic on CanvasView more from artist
145cm x 97cm Acrylic on Canvas
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How Artworks Are Sent
Ochre / Kimberley artworks are shipped on canvas or linen, already stretched, ready to hang unless stated otherwise.
Acrylic artworks are shipped on canvas or linen un-stretched, rolled up in a cardboard tube unless stated otherwise.
These artworks will need to be stretched on a stretcher board before hanging.
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Selina was born in 1978 and is the daughter of Barbara Price Mbtitjana who is an elder painter and cultural elder from Stirling Station. Selina has five sisters, Jacinta, Lanita, Louise, Caroline and Sharon Numina, who are also well respected artists from Utopia. Selina, along with her sisters and brothers were sent to boarding school in Darwin as no secondary schooling was available in Tennant Creek, 500kms north of Alice Springs. The family now live in Darwin and often travel back to Ti Tree and Stirling Station in the north Utopia region near Tennant Creek.
Selina’s family come from a long line of desert artists of the contemporary Aboriginal art including world renowned aunties: Gloria and Kathleen Petyerre, who are well established artists. Many women from the Petyerre, Mambitji and Numina family name hold custody of the story and knowledge keepers of stories such as Bush Medicine Leaves, Bush Tucker, Seeded, Soakage, Womens’ Ceremony etc – in common with other skin groups across the vast arid landscape and desert areas of central Australia.
Subjects of importance in the theme-series paintings are various bush tucker stories. Plant foods include wild berries, plums, onion, yam, seeds etc. Many animals can be depicted as food source or as totems such as Thorny Devil LIzard and Dingo Tracks. Womens’ Ceremony, Awelye Body Art Ceremony are mostly painted by senior ladies but younger women need to know it from a young age. Some themes such as Bush Tucker can be open and universal others can be secret and passed down through cultural ceremonies.
Knowing, carrying and reinforcing these stories gives respect for Country and ancestors and shows responsibility and care of holding such stories to keep the stories and traditional practices alive. The knowledge must be retold repeatedly and handed on. The Numina Sisters have all been taught to paint by their earlier elder painter grandmothers, mother-aunties, and cousin-sisters connected across the Central Desert region. Their mother’s and grandmother’s Country is in the bush and remote Stirling Station. Their father is from Utopia community side.
In the Dreamtime, Jangala and Jampijinpa, two Ancestral Beings of the Central/Western Desert tribes, went throughout the Western Desert of Central Australia teaching law and ceremony to Aborigines living at isolated camps. They found many places where the waterholes and creeks had completely dried up, forcing people to leave their camps and wander through the desert trying to find water. Many died of thirst. These two ancestors sat down one day to consider how they could alleviate the distress caused by long periods of drought. They decided to create a special ceremony called Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming), and called on the Lightning Man, boss of the storms, to send lightning strikes into the sky. The first people to see these flashes of light were so terrified that they took up spears and boomerangs to fight them. The ancestors then summoned the great Rainbow Serpent to growl continuously, causing loud thunder to roll across the sky, followed by heavy rain as its forked tongue pierced the storm clouds. As rain poured down, the people dropped their weapons and began to sing and dance with glee. Waterholes were filled and creeks ran with fresh water. Grass sprouted underneath the sand and plants flourished. Animals came to drink at the waterholes, and provided a further source of food for the starving people. Later, the summer sun dried the stalks of edible plant and the wind lifted up seedpods and distributed them at places throughout the desert, thus ensuring food for the people living there.
In rainmaking ceremonies all of these events are re-enacted by the performers in a series of song and dance cycles. The two rain ancestors came to a place called Mikanji, a small waterhole just north of Yuendumu. Here they saw in the sand the tracks of other water/rain ancestors from the Anmatyerre and Pintubi tribes. The combined presence of the Warlpiri rainmakers and the convergence of tracks of rainmakers from other tribes caused a great storm, which spread across the land. It was so heavy and continuous that two big floods started. One of these was at Thompson’s Rockhole, 350 km south of Lajamanu, and the other was at Karlupurlurnu, a lake south of Lajamanu. The rains cascaded from waterhole to waterhole and down dry creek beds until all were filled to overflowing.
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