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Shekina Nangala Sampson / Star Dreaming (2A)

61cm x 46cm Acrylic on Canvas

SKU: 4501-18


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SKU: 4501-18 Category:

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

Shekina Nangala Sampson was born on the 13 March 2002, in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. Shekina is born into a long line of major Warpiri artists. She is the daughter of Geraldine Napangardi Granites and Clifford Jampijinpa Sampson, and the grand-daughter of Alma Nungarrayi Granites (1955 – 2017). Shekina went to the local school before going to Alice Springs to attend Yirara College, a boarding school for Indigenous students. When she was at school she liked playing sport and studying reading and writing. She has now finished school and has returned to Yuendumu.

Shekina began painting in 2018 with the Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation located in Yuendumu. She paints her grandmother’s Yanjirlpirri or Napaljarri-warnu Jukurrpa (Stars and Seven Sisters Dreaming). She likes working with colour and uses an unrestricted palette to develop a modern interpretation of her traditional culture.

When Shekina is not painting, she enjoys cleaning her Aunty Valda’s house, creating a clean place to share with family and friends, especially when watching TV. On weekends, she sometimes goes hunting with her family.


The Napaljarri-Warnu Jukurrpa (Seven Sisters Dreaming) depicts the story of the seven ancestral Napaljarri sisters who are found in the night sky today in the cluster of seven stars in the constellation Taurus, more commonly known as the Pleiades. The Pleiades are seven women of the Napaljarri skin group and are often depicted in paintings of this Jukurrpa carrying the Jampijinpa man ‘wardilyka’ (the bush turkey [Ardeotis australias]) who is in love with the Napaljarri-warnu and who represents the Orion’s Belt cluster of stars. Jukurra-jukurra, the morning star, is a Jakamarra man who is also in love with the seven Napaljarri sisters and is often shown chasing them across the night sky. In a final attempt to escape from the Jakamarra the Napaljarri-warnu turned themselves into fire and ascended to the heavens to become stars. The custodians of the Napaljarri-warnu Jukurrpa are Japaljarri/Jungarrayi men and Napaljarri/Nungarrayi women. Some parts of the Napaljarri-warnu Jukurrpa are closely associated with men’s sacred ceremonies of a very secretive nature.

Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa (Star Dreaming) tells of the journey of Japaljarri and Jungarrayi men who travelled from Kurlurngalinypa (near Lajamanu) to Yanjirlypirri (west of Yuendumu) and then on to Lake Mackay on the West Australian border. Along the way they performed ‘kurdiji’ (initiation ceremonies) for young men. Women also danced for the ‘kurdiji’. The site depicted in this canvas is Yanjirlypiri (star) where there is a low hill and a water soakage. The importance of this place cannot be overemphasized as young boys are brought here to be initiated from as far as Pitjanjatjara country to the south and Lajamanu to the north.

In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, associated sites and other elements. Often depicted in paintings for this Jukurrpa is the female star Yantarlarangi (Venus – the Evening Star) who chases the seven Napaljarri sisters for having stolen the night from her.

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