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Mildred Napaljarri Spencer / Ceremonial Poles (1A)

61cm x 46cm Acrylic on Canvas

SKU: 2358-18

$410.00

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SKU: 2358-18 Category: Brand: . Artist:

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

Mildred is a Warlpiri artist who paints for Warlukurlangu Art Centre in the Northern Territory.

Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation of Yuendumu was incorporated in 1986. Warlukurlangu is a not for profit organisation that has more than 600 members, all of whom are Indigenous artists. It is directed by an executive committee of eight men and eight women representing all the ‘skin groups’. It meets regularly to set policy, make decisions about the organisation and direct staff.

Established in 1985 Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation is a not-for-profit organisation that is 100% Aboriginal-owned by its artists from the remote desert communities of Yuendumu and Nyirripi in Central Australia.

Warlukurlangu Artists is famous for its gloriously colourful acrylic paintings and limited edition prints. The art centre has a national and international profile and its art has been featured in hundreds of exhibitions and publications in Australia and around the world.

Warlukurlangu means ‘belonging to fire’ in the local language, Warlpiri, and is named for a fire dreaming site west of Yuendumu.

This painting shows the story of the Witi Jukurrpa (Ceremonial poles). Japaljarri and Jungarrayi men travelled from Kurlurngalinypa (near Lajamanu) to Yanjirlypirri (west of Yuendumu) and then on to Lake Mackay near the West Australian border. On the way they performed Kurdiji (initiation ceremonies) for young men. Women also danced for the Kurdiji ceremony. The site depicted in this canvas is Yanjilypiri where there is a low hill and a water soakage. The importance of this place cannot be overemphasised, as young boys are taken there to be initiated from as far away as Pitjanjatjara country to the south and Lajamanu to the north. The men wear Jinjirla (white feathers headdresses) on either side of their heads. They also wear wooden carvings of stars (Yanjilypiri) which are also laid out on the ground as part of the sand paintings produced for the ceremonies. Their bodies are painted with white and black circles, also representing Yanjilypiri. Ngalyipi (snake vine) is used to tie the Witi poles vertically to the legs of the dancing initiates. In Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa and other elements and typically Witi poles are shown as long straight lines and circles depict locations such as Yanjilypiri. Typically “U” shapes are used to represent Jungarrayi and Japaljarri men, who, along with their Nungarrayi and Napaljarri classificatory sisters, are the Kirda (custodians) for this Jukurrpa.

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