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Janelle Napurrurla Wilson / Brush-tail Possum Dreaming (3A)

46cm x 46cm Acrylic on Canvas

SKU: 5502-15


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SKU: 5502-15 Category: Brand: . Artist:

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

Janelle Napurrurla Wilson was born in 1985 in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. She attended the local school, graduating in 2000. When she finished school she worked in Reception at the Yuendumu Health Clinic. She now has casual work with the New Future Alliance (NFA), an organisation that is training local men to work on refurbishing the older houses in the community and assisting the tradesmen to build new homes. Local people are also employed to clean and cook. Janelle has an older sister living in Adelaide and an older brother living in Darwin. Janelle is married and has always lived in Yuendumu.

Janelle has been painting for Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation since 2012. “When I was young I use to come around to the Art Centre with my Mum and Aunty and watch them paint and I use to paint too.” She paints her Mother’s Father’s (Grandfather) Jukurrpa (Dreaming), Janganpa Jukurrpa (Brush-tail Possum Dreaming ) and her Mother’s Jukurrpa, Karnta Jukurrpa (Women’s Dreaming). These stories relate directly to the land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. They were passed down to her Grandfather by his father and his father’s father before him for millennia. Janelle uses traditional designs and icons with an unrestricted palette to develop a modern interpretation of her traditional culture.

When Janelle is not working or painting she likes to go hunting for honey ants on the weekends with her mother and family.

‘Janganpa’ or brush tail possums are nocturnal animals that live and nest in white gum trees. Janganpa Jukurrpa (common brush-tail possum Dreaming) travels all over Warlpiri country. This story is about a group of “janganpa” from a big hill called Mawurrji, west of Yuendumu and north of Pikilyi (Vaughan Springs). The family of ‘janganpa’ ancestors lived there. Each night they would go out in hunting forf food. They went to Wirlki and Wanapirdi, where they found ‘pamapardu’ (flying ants). They travelled on to Ngarlkirdipini looking for water. A Nampijinpa women was living at Mawurrji with her two daughters. She gave her daughters in marriage to a Jupurrurla ‘janganpa’ but later decided to run away with them. The Jupurrurla furiously ran after the women. He pursued them to Mawurrji where he killed them with a stone axe. Their bodies are now rocks at this place.

Warlpiri people perform a young men’s initiation ceremony, which involves the Janganpa Jukurrpa. The Janganpa Jukurrpa belongs to Jakamarra / Jupurrurla men and Nakamarra / Napurrurla women. In Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent this Jukurrpa. ‘Janganpa’ tracks are often represented as ‘E’ shaped figures and concentric circles are used to depict the trees in which the ‘janganpa’ live, and also the sites at Mawurrji.

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