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Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi / Grandmother’s Country and Seven Sisters Dreaming (18607)
140cm x 200cm Acrylic on CanvasView more from artist
140cm x 200cm Acrylic on Canvas
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Ochre / Kimberley artworks are shipped on canvas or linen, already stretched, ready to hang unless stated otherwise.
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Gabriella was born in 1967 at Mt Allan, Northern Territory. She is the eldest daughter of Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, one of the most famous of our Australian Artists (deceased 2002). She began painting at an early age, under the tuition of her famous father and often collaborated with him, producing important works.
The content of Gabriella’s paintings is the Dreaming stories handed down to her from her paternal grandmother, Long Rose Nungala and the other senior women who taught her in her formative years – these include Grandmother’s Dreaming, Seven Sisters Dreaming (Milky Way), Goanna, Bush Tucker and Serpent Dreamings of her Anmatyerre heritage.
She was the youngest artist to be awarded the prestigious Alice Springs Art Prize whilst still studying at Yirara College at age 16. Her natural talent and knowledge of the women’s dreaming stories was enhanced technically by her association with the grass roots painters of Papunya Tula – her father’s brother Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri, Long Jack Phillipus, Johnny Warrankgula Tjupurula, and many others.
Gabriella resides in Melbourne with her family and travels extensively in her profession, as did her late father. Her Prizes, Collections and Exhibitions both within Australia and Internationally reflect the high standing in which the artist is held and the undeniable investment potential of her very beautiful artworks.
– National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
– Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
– Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
– Holmes a Court Collection, Perth
– Richard Kelton Foundation Collection, Santa Monica, USA
– Galeria R. Poznan, Poland
– Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
– Winterthur Collection, Switzerland
Awards & Recognitions
– Professional Development Grant, from the Aboriginal Arts Unit of the Australia Council for the Arts
– Alice Springs Art Prize, Record Cover for “Coloured Stone”
– Vivid Projection Programme, Opera House, Sydney
– Art Tram, Melbourne Festival, Melbourne
– Chelsea Flower Show, London – Gold Medal
– The Seven Sisters and the Night Sky, Art Mob, Hobart
– Family Business – The Art of the Possum Family, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
– The Continuing Legacy of Clifford Possum: Clifford, Gabriella, Michelle, Coo-ee Art Gallery, Sydney
– Beyond Time, Australian Aboriginal Art, Booker Lowe Gallery, Houston
– Of Earth and Fire, Exhibition of Maroondah City Council Art Collection, Maroondah, VIC
– Seven Sisters, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
– International Women’s Day, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
– Landscape Colours, Japingka Aboriginal Art, Fremantle
– 20/20 Vision: 20 Years 20 Women, Brenda Colahan Fine Art, Sydney
– Beyond the Veil, Olsen Gruin, New York
– Talking about Country | Possum Sisters, Japingka Aboriginal Art, Fremantle
– Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi & Michelle Possum Nungurrayi, Japingka Aboriginal Art, Fremantle
– Heirs and Successors, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
– Gabriella and Michelle Possum, Aranda Aboriginal Art, Melbourne
– Generations, Aranda Aboriginal Art, Melbourne
– Starry Starry Nights, Framed Gallery, Darwin
– Best of Gabriella Possum, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
– Art Aborigene Australien, Paris, France
– Shanghai Art Fair, China
– London Art Fair, UK
– Shanghai Art Fair, China
– ‘Dreaming Their Way’, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, USA
– Canterbury Art Exhibition, Melbourne
– Mia Mia Gallery, Melbourne
– United Nations Building, New York
– Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
– Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia, Melbourne
– Art of the Aborigines, Warsaw, Poland
– Berne, Switzerland
– London, U.K.
– Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney
– Washington DC, U.S.A.
– Aboriginal Dot Painting, Melbourne
– Brisbane – in conjunction with her father Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri
In this painting the artist depicts motifs that give symbolic form to tribal women engaged in cultural activities in a desert environment known as Yuelamu, which the women inherited from their Ancestral Grandmother, who travelled to this Anmatyerre site in the Tanami Desert during the Dreamtime, at Creation.
Represented as symbolic U-shapes, the women are shown in different areas collecting wild growing bush food, which is given form through star-like shapes that represent berry bushes, while clusters of encased small dots and large dots serve to represent various types of berries and bush plums that the women collect. The red fire-like motif represents the women’s campfire and ceremonial site where the women gather for ceremony and engage in ritual song and dance and create body art and sand paintings, which the concentric circles in this work depict and double to act as specific sites where bush food is in plenty. Rain nourishes the desert and is captured through the white dotted motifs , which also serves to double as pipe-clay used as paint in the ritual life of Yuelamu`s women, who follow their Ancestral Grandmother’s example in her home country, which is the subject of this work.
Seven Sisters Dreaming
In the Dreamtime a group of seven Napaltjarri women were being pursued by a Jakamarra man called Jilbi. He had been sitting in a cave at irlkirdi practicing love magic by cutting off his long hair and weaving it by hand onto a wooden spindle, then performing songs and dances which people from far off could hear. Often he would entice young women to come to his cave and live with him. Jakamarra men were very proud of their successes when they practiced this magic, and spent much time boasting among themselves about their prowess. The seven women had no intention of sleeping with the Jakamarra man and ran away from him, journeying a long way across the desert until they were too tired and hungry to go any further. They sat down at Uluru to search for honey ants, then when they saw Jilbi approaching went to a place called Kurlunyalimpa, and changed themselves into seven fires.
With the help of spirits at Uluru they went up into the sky to become stars. Ever since then they can be seen as a cluster of seven stars in the constellation Taurus, known as the Pleiades. Jilbi transformed himself into the Morning Star in Orion’s belt, and continues to chase the Pleiades across the sky.
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