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Ruth Napaljarri Stewart / Budgerigar Dreaming (1A)

61cm x 30cm Acrylic on Canvas

SKU: 4216

$320.00

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SKU: 4216 Category:

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

Ruth Napaljarri Stewart was born near Coniston, about 75 km west of Yuendumu. “We walked everywhere with my family. It was a good life.” Although Ruth did her schooling at Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km from Alice Spring in NT of Australia, she and her family would frequently travel between Yuendumu, Mt Wedge, Napperby Creek, and Mt Dennison.

Ruth spent some time doing domestic work in Yuendumu, before finding employment as a health worker at Yuendumu Clinic. She also worked for a period of time for Yuendumu Council.

Ruth has painted with Warlukurlangu Artists since the 1980’s, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu. She paints many different themes and stories that were passed down to her by her father. Ruth is the younger sister of the successful artist Paddy Japaljarri Stewart, a senior elder at Yuendumu. Her traditional country is in the Mount Allen region of the Northern Territory.

Collections

•South Australian Museum, Adelaide, Australia

•Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia

•Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

•Museum of Mankind, The British Museum, London

•Art Gallery and Museums, Kelvingrove, Glasgow, Scotland

•Tim and Vivien Johnson, Australia

 

The Jukurrpa site shown in this painting for Ngatijirri (budgerigar) is at Yangarnmpi, south of Yuendumu. ‘Ngatijirri’ are small, bright green birds native to central Australia which are common around the Yuendumu area, especially after the summer rains. Men would hunt for ‘ngatijirri’ nests, robbing them of eggs and juvenile birds, which are both considered delicacies. The men would also go out hunting for adult, flying ‘ngatijirri’, which they would kill by swinging branches, killing sticks or ‘karli’ (boomerangs) to hit the birds in flight.

The ‘ngatijirri’ travelled to Yangarnmpi from Patirlirri, near Willowra to the east of Yuendumu and travelled further on to Marngangi, north/west of Mount Dennison and west of Yuendumu. Each time the flock of ancestral ‘ngatijirri’ lands, they perform ceremonies, singing and dancing as they fly and roost in the trees. The sites of these ceremonies are depicted in this painting as concentric circles, while cross-like shapes depict the footprints of the birds on the ground and give an indication of the large flocks of ‘ngatijirri’ that can be found near Yangarnmpi and other sites close to Yuendumu.

After good rains ‘ngatijirri’ can successfully breed several times, resulting in an explosion of the population in a short time. Custodians for the Ngatijirri Jukurrpa are Napaljarri/Nungarrayi women and Japaljarri/Jungarrayi men.

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