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Tess Napaljarri Ross / Fire Country Dreaming (1A)

30cm x 30cm Acrylic on Canvas

SKU: 5261-19

$170.00

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SKU: 5261-19 Category: Brand: . Artist:

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

Tess Napaljarri Ross was born close to Yuendumu, on a cattle station East of Yuendumu. She was named Daisy. When she was a little girl her family moved to Yuendumu, an Aboriginal settlement 290 kms north-west of Alice Springs.

Shortly after moving to Yuendumu her father died and her mother later remarried. Her step father, Larry Jungarrayi Spencer who was one or the artists who painted the Yuendumu Doors, taught her the patterns and designs of Yarri Pirlangu, a place south of Yuendumu. She attended the local Yuendumu School and then trained as a teacher assistant through Batchelor College in Darwin.

After she finished her training she returned to Yuendumu and has been actively involved in the school Two-Way teaching program which is devoted to maintaining the indigenous Warlpiri culture and language in the community. Tess has also worked as a translator and helped to translate the Yuendumu Doors Book for IATSIS press.

She is married and has one daughter, Lizzie Ross with her first husband, Jack Jakamarra Ross. She is very involved with her large extended family and the community in various programs. She has worked with Birds of Australia setting up a bird sanctuary in New Haven, 80 kms north-east of Yuendumu.

Tess is one of the earlier painters of Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre established in 1985 and located in Yuendumu. Tess first learnt art at school and when the Centre opened asked what she could paint. It was the Yarri Pirlangu patterns and designs which she still incorporates into her Jukurrpa stories today.

This Dreaming belongs to Warlukurlangu country to the south-west of Yuendumu, for which Jampijinpa/Jangala men and Nampijinpa/Nangala women have custodial responsibility. An old man ‘lungkarda’ (centralian blue-tongued lizard), of the Jampijinpa skin group, lived on a hill with his two Jangala sons. The old man would feign blindness and send the two boys hunting in search of meat. While they were gone he would hunt and eat anything that he caught before they returned.

One day the sons returned with a kangaroo that they had caught after much tracking. Unfortunately the kangaroo was sacred to the ‘lungkarda’, unbeknown to the boys. In his anger the old man decided to punish his sons and the next time they went out, he put his fire stick to the ground and sent a huge bush fire after them which chased them for many miles, at times propelling them through the air. Although the boys beat out the flames, ‘lungkarda’s’ special magic kept the fire alive and it re-appeared out of his blue-tongued lizard hole.

In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, particular sites and other elements. Usually sites that are depicted in paintings of this Jukurrpa include Warlukurlangu (a men’s cave), Kirrkirrmanu (where the sacred kangaroo was killed), Wayililinypa (where the fire killed the two Jangala sons) and Marnimarnu (a water soakage) where the two Jangalas camped.

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