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Purlta Maryanne Downs / My Country (1A)

SKU: 37-08

90cm x 60cm Acrylic on Canvas, 2008

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90cm x 60cm Acrylic on Canvas, 2008


How Artworks Are Sent

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.

These artworks will need to be stretched on a stretcher board before hanging.

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Artist Profile

Artwork is accompanied by Mangkaja Art Centre Certificate of Authenticity/Provenance

Kumanjayi [deceased] Downs was born at Kurtal Jila [permanent waterhole], near Kururrungku (Billiluna). When she was a young girl she walked a long way with her mother to Paruku (Lake Gregory). Following this when she was still young, she walked again with her parents to Louisa Downs Station. Before Kumanjayi Downs passed away, she told this story:

When we go out bush we get all kinds of food. We get food for the kids like makaparla [bush banana]. We find a tree and sometimes we argue, “This is my tree”, “No it’s mine”. Sometimes we get yams. We used to dig for them ourselves, without our mother. We learnt how to find any kind of food in the bush. My sister taught me to dig up yams and to hunt goanna. When we were hungry away from our mother we looked around for food. We would find possum and sometimes at night, echidna or bandicoot.

Sometimes Jinny and her husband would dig a yam and leave it in the ground covered up. We would come behind and pick it up. We kids would share it. We would eat it raw. Then those two would come back and they would look around for their yam. Jinny would call out, “Where’s my food?” She would look around but she couldn’t find that yam. Then she knew that we had eaten it. She called us the greedy ones. This happened when we were walking from Billiluna.

My sister taught me everything about hunting. We carried water in a coolamon on our heads. My mother taught me how to cook on the fire. She was cheeky and used to hit me but sometimes I was naughty too.

I first started painting at Karrayili Adult Education Centre. We sewed clothes and tried to write with the first teacher. We started painting but we didn’t paint our country. We painted nothing at first. We used mud sometimes to make pots. We also made coolamons and other things.

Then everyone started painting. I started on cardboard. When I was looking around I was thinking, “what have I got to do?” I thought, “I could put something like a goanna or a billabong or jumu [soakwater]”. I have been painting at Mangkaja for a long time, now.

1997: Works on Paper Prize, Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award

Art Gallery of NSW
National Gallery of Victoria
National Gallery of Australia
Charles Darwin University, NT
Murdoch University
Fitzroy Crossing High School
Holmes a Court Gallery, Perth



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Purlta Maryanne Downs / My Country (1A) (Sold)

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Gail Walls

Amazing. .wonderful paintings…love the stories told with each..beautiful works by all..look forward each day to see what is next to come…a big thank you to all for your beautiful pieces

Alli Lou

If there was an option to, I’d give a 100 star rating

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I’ve not been able to visit for a while but love the work here! I think I’m due a trip with the boys soon!

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Seamless purchase great people to deal with would love to buy more!

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Beautiful art work….. Love it!

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