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Justinna Napaljarri Sims / Star Dreaming (2A)

152cm x 61cm Acrylic on Linen 

SKU: 1764-17

$1,650.00

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

Justinna Napaljarri Sims was born in 1977 in the Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290km north-west from Alice Springs.

She went to school at Yirrara college (Alice Springs) but returned to the community in 1999 where she has lived permanently ever since. She is married to Gordon Jangala Robertson and has two daughters, Vicky and Chantal. Apart from being a mother and painter, Justinna also works part time in a local store in Yuendumu. Justinna is the grand-daughter of Paddy Japaljarri Sims (Dec), one of the founding artists of Warlukurlangu Artists Art Association. She has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists since 1999, however it wasn’t until 2010 that she has had time to paint consistently.

She paints many of her grandfather’s Jukurrpa stories, Dreamings, which include Ngarlkirdi Jukurrpa (Witchetty Grub Dreaming) and Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa (Star Dreaming), Dreamings which relate directly to her land, its features and animals.

The Napaljarri-Warnu Jukurrpa (Seven Sisters Dreaming) depicts the story of the seven ancestral Napaljarri sisters who are found in the night sky today in the cluster of seven stars in the constellation Taurus, more commonly known as the Pleiades. The Pleiades are seven women of the Napaljarri skin group and are often depicted in paintings of this Jukurrpa carrying the Jampijinpa man ‘wardilyka’ (the bush turkey [Ardeotis australias]) who is in love with the Napaljarri-warnu and who represents the Orion’s Belt cluster of stars. Jukurra-jukurra, the morning star, is a Jakamarra man who is also in love with the seven Napaljarri sisters and is often shown chasing them across the night sky. In a final attempt to escape from the Jakamarra the Napaljarri-warnu turned themselves into fire and ascended to the heavens to become stars. The custodians of the Napaljarri-warnu Jukurrpa are Japaljarri/Jungarrayi men and Napaljarri/Nungarrayi women. Some parts of the Napaljarri-warnu Jukurrpa are closely associated with men’s sacred ceremonies of a very secretive nature.

Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa (Star Dreaming) tells of the journey of Japaljarri and Jungarrayi men who travelled from Kurlurngalinypa (near Lajamanu) to Yanjirlypirri (west of Yuendumu) and then on to Lake Mackay on the West Australian border. Along the way they performed ‘kurdiji’ (initiation ceremonies) for young men. Women also danced for the ‘kurdiji’. The site depicted in this canvas is Yanjirlypiri (star) where there is a low hill and a water soakage. The importance of this place cannot be overemphasized as young boys are brought here to be initiated from as far as Pitjanjatjara country to the south and Lajamanu to the north.

In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, associated sites and other elements. Often depicted in paintings for this Jukurrpa is the female star Yantarlarangi (Venus – the Evening Star) who chases the seven Napaljarri sisters for having stolen the night from her.

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