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Henry Jampijinpa Spencer / Water Dreaming (726-20)

30cm x 30cm Acrylic on Canvas

SKU: 726-20

$170.00

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Artwork is accompanied by Warlukurlangu Artists (Yuendumu) Art Centre Certificate of Authenticity/Provenance

Henry Junior Jampijinpa Spencer was born in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 kms north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. Henry was born into a family of artists­, his mother is Rahab Nungarayi Spencer, his Aunty is Ruth Napaljarri Spencer and his grandfathers Paddy Japaljarri Stewart (the chairman for the Warlukurlangu Artists Committee) and Shorty Jangala Robertson. All are exceptional artists and have had their paintings exhibited in Australia and overseas. Henry is married and has one boy Sherman.

Henry attended the local Yuendumu School before completing his studies at Yirara College, an Aboriginal boarding college in Alice Springs. After leaving school he worked for the Warlukurlangu Art Centre preparing canvases.

In 2012 Henry began painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu. He paints both his father’s and mother’s jukurrpa, Dreamings passed down through the generations for millennia.

When Henry is not painting or helping out at the Art Centre he is playing football. While at school he represented Yirara College and now plays for the Yuendumu Magpies football team, playing in the Central Australian Football League (CAFL). His football has taken him to towns and cities in the NT, SA and Victoria.

The site depicted in this painting is Puyurru, west of Yuendumu. In the usually dry creek beds are ‘mulju’ (soakages), or naturally occurring wells. The ‘kirda’ (owners) for this site are Nangala / Nampijinpa women and Jangala / Jampijinpa men. Two Jangala men, rainmakers, sang the rain, unleashing a giant storm. The storm travelled across the country from the east to the west, initially travelling with a ‘pamapardu Jukurrpa’ (termite Dreaming) from Warntungurru to Warlura, a waterhole 8 miles east of Yuendumu. At Warlura, a gecko called Yumariyumari blew the storm on to Lapurrukurra and Wilpiri. Bolts of lightning shot out at Wirnpa (also called Mardinymardinypa) and at Kanaralji. At this point the Dreaming track also includes the ‘kurdukurdu mangkurdu Jukurrpa’ (children of the clouds Dreaming). The water Dreaming built hills at Ngamangama using baby clouds and also stuck long pointy clouds into the ground at Jukajuka, where they can still be seen today as rock formations.

The termite Dreaming eventually continued west to Nyirripi, a community approximately 160 km west of Yuendumu. The water Dreaming then travelled from the south over Mikanji, a watercourse with soakages northwest of Yuendumu. At Mikanji, the storm was picked up by a ‘kirrkarlanji’ (brown falcon) and taken farther north. At Puyurru, the falcon dug up a giant ‘warnayarra’ (rainbow serpent). The serpent carried water with it to create another large lake, Jillyiumpa, close to an outstation in this country. The ‘kirda’ (owners) of this story are Jangala men and Nangala women. After stopping at Puyurru, the water Dreaming travelled on through other locations including Yalyarilalku, Mikilyparnta, Katalpi, Lungkardajarra, Jirawarnpa, Kamira, Yurrunjuku, and Jikaya before moving on into Gurindji country to the north.

In contemporary Warlpiri paintings, traditional iconography is used to represent the ‘Jukurrpa’ (Dreaming). Short dashes are often used to represent ‘mangkurdu’ (cumulus & stratocumulus clouds), and longer, flowing lines represent ‘ngawarra’ (flood waters). Small circles are used to depict ‘mulju’ (soakages) and river bed.

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