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Ada Nangala Dixon / Water Dreaming – Balance of Lay-by

76cm x 76cm Acrylic on Linen

SKU: 504-18layby


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SKU: 504-18layby Category:
Artwork is accompanied by Warlukurlangu Artists (Yuendumu) Art Centre Certificate of Authenticity/Provenance


Ada Nangala Dixon was born in 1952 at Mt Doreen, an extensive cattle breeding station about 55km west of Yuendumu in the Northern Territory.

She was born into a well-known artist family, her father was Pintubi artist Pegleg Jampijinpa and her mother was Margaret Napangardi Brown, a successful artist with Warlukurlangu Artists.

Ada attended the local School at Yuendumu and when she finished she helped out at the Yuendumu School and then Nyirripi School. She is married and has 5 children and 7 grandchildren.

Ada began painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, in 2009.

She would watch her sister Joy Nangala Brown paint and decided she would paint too. She paints her Father’s Jukurrpa (Dreaming), especially Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming),Dreamings which have been passed down over the generations for millennia and relate directly to the land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it.

Ada uses an unrestricted palette to develop a modern interpretation of her traditional culture.

When Ada is not painting she goes hunting especially on the weekends, “I love it!”

The site depicted in this painting is Puyurru, west of Yuendumu. In the usually dry creek beds are water soakages or naturally occurring wells.

Two Jangala men, rainmakers, sang the rain, unleashing a giant storm. It travelled across the country, with the lightning striking the land. This storm met up with another storm from Wapurtali, to the west, was picked up by a ‘kirrkarlan’ (brown falcon) and carried further west until it dropped the storm at Purlungyanu, where it created a giant soakage.

At Puyurru the bird dug up a giant snake, ‘warnayarra’ (the ‘rainbow serpent’) and the snake carried water to create the large lake, Jillyiumpa, close to an outstation in this country.

This story belongs to Jangala men and Nangala women. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, associated sites and other elements. In many paintings of this Jukurrpa curved and straight lines represent the ‘ngawarra’ (flood waters) running through the landscape.

Motifs frequently used to depict this story include small circles representing ‘mulju’ (water soakages) and short bars depicting ‘mangkurdu’ (cumulus & stratocumulus clouds).

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