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Melissa Napangardi Williams / Bush Tomato Dreaming (6A)

61cm x 30cm Acrylic on Canvas

SKU: 3113-18

$320.00

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

“Being a painter makes me relax.”

Melissa Napangardi Williams was born in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. She is the daughter of Alice Napurrurla Nelson and Warren Japanangka Williams, and has one sister and two brothers. Melissa attended the local school before going to Yirara College, an Aboriginal boarding college in Alice Springs. When she graduated from College, she returned to Yuendumu where she worked as a Receptionist at the local School, at the Health Clinic and later became a full-time carer, looking after her two nephews, a niece and her son and daughter.

Melissa Napangardi began painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation located in Yuendumu in 2004. She paints her Father’s Wanakiji Jukurrpa (Bush Tomato Dreaming), Yarla Jukurrpa (Bush Potato Dreaming) and Yuparli Jukurrpa (Bush Banana Dreaming). She also paints her Mother’s Wardapi Jukurrpa (Goanna Dreaming). These stories were passed down to her by her family and their ancestors before them for millennia. She uses an unrestricted palette to develop a modern interpretation of traditional motifs with her own ideas of design and pattern.

When not painting, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.

The Wanakiji Jukurrpa (bush tomato Dreaming) travels through Yaturlu (near Mount Theo, north of Yuendumu). “Wanakiji” grows in open spinifex country and is a small, prickly plant with purple flowers that bears green fleshy fruit with many small black seeds.

After collecting the fruit the seeds are removed with a small wooden spoon called ‘kajalarra’. The fruit then can be eaten raw or threaded onto skewers called ‘turlturrpa’ and then cooked over a fire. ‘Wanakiji’ can also be skewered and left to dry. When they are prepared in this way it is called ‘turlturrpa’ and the fruit can be kept for a long time.

In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, particular sites and other elements.

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