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Caroline Numina Napananka / My Country (1A)

151cm x 97cm Acrylic on Linen 

SKU: A13978

$1,290.00

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Caroline is a young artist who has already made an incredible impression on the Contemporary Art Market.

Born in 1975 at Stirling Station which is Anmatyerre country near Alice Springs and Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory of Australia and educated in Alice Springs, Caroline began painting in 1981, under the direction of two of our most famous Australian Artists, her aunties Kathleen and Gloria Petyarre.

One of six girls, they were taught the traditional stories by their relatives, and with her sisters Lanita and Louise, Caroline relocated to Darwin in 1995 where she remains today with her husband Daniel Pula Turner and their four children, living close to her sisters Lanita, Jacinta, Louise and Sharon, all artists in their own right.

She paints the stories of her heritage, including bush tucker and bush medicine dreaming, mountain devil lizard dreaming, honey ant, emu and kangaroo dreaming in exquisite detail and striking colours.

In this painting the artist has depicted her country where they collect the bush medicine leaves and various plants with seeds or plums. Also shown are travel paths passing through the stony country as well as the desert areas including hills and dried up salt lake areas.

Women’s paintings often depict a topographical view of their country with stories related to women’s business, or initiation ceremony for women. The women may be past initiates, or young women awaiting instruction from older women. Initiates are taught their roles as nurturers of the land and keepers of the law by which life’s rules and regulations are set. Other stories involve bush medicine, seed dreaming and fire dreaming. Ceremonies always involve song, dance and body decoration. The ownership, management and performance are dependent upon knowledge and status. Body-painting carries deep spiritual significance for the Aboriginal people.

They recognise the creative nature of this activity, which uses the human body itself as a living canvas for artistic expression. The use of particular designs and motifs denotes social position and the relationship of the individuals to their family group and to particular ancestors, totemic animals and tracts of land. In many situations’ individuals are completely transformed so they ‘become’ the spirit ancestor they are portraying in the dance. Patterns must conform to the ceremony being performed, and the women are not at liberty to adorn themselves with designs of free will. Elaborate ground constructions (sand paintings) are also made. Usually during ceremonies, their body-painting depicts similar linear designs as those illustrated in the ground paintings.

Some paintings often depict their country where the story takes place. During the ceremonies the women will collect the ochres and Spinifex ashes, which are mixed with Kangaroo or Emu fat to make the body paint. Body-painting ranges from simply smearing clay across the face, to intrinsic full body patterning. Many other women’s ceremonies, the song and dance cycles revolve around bush tucker, such as yam, banana, wild tomato, plum, onions, honey ants, witchetty grubs, nuts and berries. In their paintings they depict the implements they use, including digging sticks, grinding stones, and coolamons for carrying. A ‘U’ shape represents a person or groups of people sitting down with crossed legs. A larger ‘U’ indicates a windbreak. Concentric circles can represent a campsite, ceremonial site, waterhole or fire. The exact imprint of human feet or animal paws depicts tracks of humans or animals including emus, possums, kangaroos etc.

Sometimes stories involving bush medicine depict the country surrounding the areas where the dreaming takes place, or where the ceremony is performed. The Bush Medicine Plant is an Australian native that grows wild in Central Australia. Women collect leaves from these plants; the leaves are boiled to extract resin. Kangaroo fat is mixed into the resin, creating a paste that can be stored for a long time in bush conditions. This medicine is used to heal cuts, wounds, bites and rashes. It is also used to treat the flu, headache, backache, upset stomach, chest pains or as an insect repellent. As the leaves and petals dry out, they fall off and are blown around by the wind. This is represented in the painting and gives it the movement.

This gorgeous painting depicts the story of the skin of the Mountain Thorny Devil Lizard. The lizard is said to change colours in the desert as the sun rises and sets and the dew catches upon their skin reflecting the ability of the Mountain Thorny Devil Lizard to change from plain to vivid colours. A very detailed work created by a series of swirls in the alluring colours of yellow, orange, pink and white. It captures a feeling of gentle transition and movement, a very beautiful painting.

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