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Jennifer Napaljarri Lewis / Water Dreaming – Puyurru (1A)

46cm x 30cm Acrylic on Canvas 

SKU: 2765-19ny

$220.00

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SKU: 2765-19ny Category: Brand: . Artist:

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

Jennifer Napaljarri Lewis was born in 1962 in Areyonga, an Aboriginal community located in a valley of the Macdonnell Ranges approx 220 km south-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. Her father was Jimmy Luritja, a stockman working on Angus Downs. She attended the local school in Areyonga before studying at Yirara College, an Aboriginal boarding college in Alice Springs. On her return to Areyonga she worked for the local council.

While living in Areyonga she met Nancy Napanangka Gibson’s son Colin Jakamarra Gibson, who was visiting Areyonga from Nyirripi. Nancy is a well known artist who works with Warlukurlangu Artists. When Jennifer married Colin she moved to Nyirripi to be with her husband. They have two children, a son Jeremy and a daughter Samantha. Jennifer has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km north-west of Alice Springs, since 2009.

Jennifer belongs to the Pitjantjatjara people and her traditional land is Mutitjula at the eastern end of Uluru. She has a close connection with the Mutitjula Community and it was there that her family taught her to paint. She loves painting and uses an unrestricted palette with traditional patterns and design integrated with a modern individualistic style to depict her traditional Jukurrpa stories. When Jennifer is not painting she likes to be involved in sport or visiting her family in Areyonga or visiting her sister who lives in Alice Springs.

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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