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Melissa Napangardi Williams / Goanna Dreaming – Yarripilangu (6894-23)

SKU: 6894-23

76cm x 61cm Acrylic on Linen

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Original price was: $670.00.Current price is: $350.00.

76cm x 61cm Acrylic on Linen

In stock


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Ochre / Kimberley artworks are shipped on canvas or linen, already stretched, ready to hang unless stated otherwise.

Acrylic artworks are shipped on canvas or linen un-stretched, rolled up in a cardboard tube unless stated otherwise.

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Artist Profile

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.

Artwork Description

This painting depicts a ‘wardapi Jukurrpa’ (sand monitor/goanna Dreaming). This dramatic Jukurrpa travels between Purturlu (Mount Theo), approximately 150kms north-northwest of Yuendumu, and Yarripilangu (Newhaven), which is approximately 100kms southwest of Yuendumu. This painting focuses on the portion of the Jukurrpa that takes place at Yarripilangu, which is owned by Napaljarri/Nungarrayi women and Japaljarri/Jungarrayi men. The portion of the Jukurrpa at Purturlu belongs to Napanangka/Napangardi women and Japanangka/Japangardi men.

This Jukurrpa tells the story of a Japangardi man named Wamaru who lived at Jarrardajarrayi, an area of country near Purturlu. This Japangardi man lived at Jarrardajarrayi near a soakage called Juntangkalpa. He travelled south to Yarripilangu and approached a group of ‘karnta’ (women) that were sitting down in a circle there. He wanted to woo a Nungarrayi woman named Yurlkurinyi who was the wrong skin for him. By tribal law, this woman was his mother-in-law and their relationship would be taboo.

The Japangardi man wooed the Nungarrayi woman and they went up the hill at Yarripilangu where they made love. The earth there turned to ‘ngunjungunju’ (white ochre) and the man turned himself and all the ‘karnta’ (women) into ‘wardapi’ (goannas). The Japangardi man eventually brought the Nungarrayi woman back to Purturlu to live, even though they were the wrong skin for each other.

White ochre is still found on top of the hill at Yarripilangu and is used today for love magic and for ceremonial decoration. There’s also a cave where you can see the shape of a goanna entering. There are beautiful groundwater springs on the east side of the Yarripilangu hill. A number of important Jukurrpa associated with mens’ initiation ceremonies pass through Yarripilangu; these include ‘karnta Jukurrpa’ (womens’ Dreaming), ‘ngalyipi Jukurrpa’ (snakevine Dreaming), ‘wati-jarra Jukurrpa’ (two men Dreaming), and ‘witi Jukurrpa’ (ceremonial pole Dreaming).

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Melissa Napangardi Williams / Goanna Dreaming – Yarripilangu (6894-23)
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