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Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi / Grandmother’s Country and Seven Sisters Dreaming (2B)
80cm x 140cm Acrylic on CanvasView more from artist
80cm x 140cm Acrylic on Canvas
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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.
– Brisbane – in conjunction with her father Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri
– Aboriginal Dot Painting, Melbourne
– Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney
– Washington DC, U.S.A.
– Berne, Switzerland
– London, U.K.
– Art of the Aborigines, Warsaw, Poland
– Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
– Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia, Melbourne
– United Nations Building, New York
– Mia Mia Gallery, Melbourne
– Canterbury Art Exhibition, Melbourne
– Shanghai Art Fair, China
– ‘Dreaming Their Way’, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, USA
– Shanghai Art Fair, China
– London Art Fair, UK
– Art Aborigene Australien, Paris, France
– Generations, Aranda Aboriginal Art, Melbourne
– Starry Starry Nights, Framed Gallery, Darwin
– Best of Gabriella Possum, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
– Gabriella and Michelle Possum, Aranda Aboriginal Art, Melbourne
– 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
– Professional Development Grant, from the Aboriginal Arts Unit of the Australia Council for the Arts
– Alice Springs Art Prize, Record Cover for “Coloured Stone”
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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