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Louise Numina Napananka / Emu Dreaming (1A)

142cm x 92cm Acrylic on Canvas

SKU: A12160


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SKU: A12160 Category:

Louise Numina was born in 1976 and is an Anmatyerre artist from Ti Tree, 190km North of Alice Springs in Central Australia. She grew up on Stirling Station, a cattle station south of Tennant Creek along with her six sisters and three brothers, where she attended primary school and later moved to Alice Springs to attend Yirara College.

After she completed her school studies Louise moved back to Stirling station and worked with the Community Development Program. Her aunties, very famous artists, Gloria and Kathleen Petyerre taught Louise to paint in 1981 and she sold her art through galleries in Alice Springs and across the Northern Territory up to Darwin, where she eventually moved in 1995.

Louise studied art at Nungalinya College and has a Diploma of Fine Arts from the Northern Territory University. Her art has been exhibited throughout Australia and is popular with art dealers and collectors worldwide.

Louise lives in Darwin with her sisters, Jacinta, Lanita, Caroline and Sharon Numina, who are also well respected artists.


In the Dreamtime, Ancestral Beings wandered through the desert, teaching law, language and ceremony to Aborigines living at isolated camps, and creating sacred sites at various places of significance which they encountered on their journeys. These ancestors were originally humans, but they could change their shape at will into birds, animals, reptiles or other natural phenomena such as rocks, hills or trees should danger threaten, or when they felt it was time for them to die. In this way their spirits would live on forever. At some time in their travels a group of these Ancestral Beings changed into emus, and the footprints they left in the sand were called the ’emu dreaming tracks’. Tracks are very important to all of the tribes living in the desert, indicating as they do the different routes travelled by their ancestors, and in sacred ceremonies novitiates must learn the correct details of their ancestors’ tracks.

All of their descendants paint their bodies with the emu design and mimic the events, which happened in the Dreamtime. Until recently this passing on of religious knowledge was only possible by song and dance cycles and by drawing tracks and other designs in the sand. Now this can also be depicted by painting on canvas. A group of these Ancestral Beings became emus, and the footprints they left in the sand were called the emu dreaming tracks. Their descendants paint their bodies with the emu design in sacred ceremonies, and teach the participants about the deeds of their ancestor.

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