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Queenie Nungarrayi Stewart / Wild Plum Dreaming (1925-21)

61cm x 30cm Acrylic on Canvas

SKU: 1925-21


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

“I like the Aboriginal colours, the desert colours–red, black, white, yellow, orange and brown.”

Queenie Nungarrayi Stewart was born in Alice Spring’s Hospital but lives in Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. She is the only daughter of Paddy Japaljarri Stewart, the Chairman of Warlukurlangu Art Centre, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, and one of its founding and most long-standing artists and also one of the main artists of the Yuendumu School Doors.

Queenie grew up in Yuendumu and attended the local school. She has two children, Dion and Bevan from her first marriage and several grand-children. She is married to Edward Jangala Smith, also a painter with the art centre.

She has been painting with the art centre since 1997, often painting together with her father and learning the large number of traditional Dreaming stories. Both Paddy Stewart and Queenie are traditional owners of the land where Yuendumu is located. She likes painting all the time, painting on canvas and linen and sometimes painting beads, coolamons or music sticks.


The Mukaki Jukurrpa (wild plum Dreaming) tells of the journey of a group of heroic ‘mukaki’ ancestors from Wirlki to Yiwinji. Another place, Watungurra, near Nyirrpi and about 160 km south-west from Yuendumu is also associated with this story. The site painted in this story belongs to Jakamarra/Jupurrurla men and Napurrurla/Nakamarra women. ‘Mukaki’ (wild plum fruit) are picked when they have been dried by the sun. They can then be ground with added water to make a paste. Traditionally women would gather ‘mukaki’ and squeeze the juice into food carriers to drink. The ripe black plums would also be used as paint, for body decoration and ground painting. In the past people would apply the juice to their skin to make themselves darker. The ‘mukaki’ are also eaten by the possums. In paintings of this Dreaming, often concentric circles are used to represent the trees themselves (‘watiya’) while curved lines are usually used to depict the root (‘yartura’) and clusters of small circles can portrait the flowers (‘jinjirla’). Normally unripe ‘mukaki’ are painted as green.

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