WARLUKURLANDGU Artists
Australian Indigenous Arts

Producing gloriously coloured artworks and supporting the Aboriginal community of Yuendumu since 1985.

Introduction

 

Established in 1985 Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation is a not-for-profit organisation that is 100% Aboriginal-owned by its artists from the remote desert communities of Yuendumu and Nyirripi in Central Australia.

Warlukurlangu Artists is famous for its gloriously colourful acrylic paintings and limited edition prints. The art centre has a national and international profile and its art has been featured in hundreds of exhibitions and publications in Australia and around the world.

Warlukurlangu means ‘belonging to fire’ in the local language, Warlpiri, and is named for a fire dreaming site west of Yuendumu.

 

The primary activity of the art centre is the production of acrylic paintings on canvas. The art centre regularly conducts professional on-site painting and print workshops for the artists.

Professional development workshops provide an opportunity for the artists to learn new skills and techniques, experiment with different media and vary their regular routine, have fun and develop their practice.

Over the years the artists have worked in collaboration with printmaking studios Northern Editions and Basil Hall Editions to produce many limited edition, fine art prints. These prints are available for sale through their official website www.warlu.com.

Warlukurlangu Artists has also worked with Batchelor Institute to conduct on site workshops in painting and drawing.

Agnes Nampijinpa Fry

Artist’s Bio

Agnes paints her father’s Jukurrpa stories, Dreamings relating directly to her land, its features and animals. These stories were passed down to her by her father and her grandfather and their fathers for millennia. When Agnes is not painting she likes to go hunting for bush tucker, particularly Bush Currants. When she has the opportunity she also likes to travel to Papunya and Mt Liebig to see her daughter and son.

Marlu Jukurrpa (Red Kangaroo Dreaming) Yarnardilyi & Jurnti

This painting depicts the Marlu Jukurrpa (red kangaroo [Macropus rufus] Dreaming) from Yarnardilyi and Jurnti (Mt Dennison area). ‘Marlu’ are highly valued as a food source by Warlpiri people. In the story of this painting an old ancestral kangaroo named Warlawee, who made its camp at Jurnti and moves from place to place – hunting during the day and returning at night to the camp, which it has formed by digging depressions in the soft ground. Warlawee traveled around large areas of country looking for their preferred foods, which include ‘yukuri’ (fresh green growth) and ‘yulkardi’ (desert cucumber [Mukia micrantha]) a low-growing herb found underneath ‘mulga’ trees which is used by Warlpiri people for medicinal purposes. Concentric circles are often used in depictions of this story to represent the rocks at Yarnardilyi. The arc shapes depict the kangaroo’s camp in the Jurnti area and ‘E’ and hooked shapes usually depict the ‘marlu wirliya’ (kangaroo fore and hind footprints) while long, straight lines represent the ‘marlu ngirnti’ (kangaroo tail tracks).

Marlu Jukurrpa (Red Kangaroo Dreaming) Yarnardilyi & Jurnti

This painting depicts the Marlu Jukurrpa (red kangaroo [Macropus rufus] Dreaming) from Yarnardilyi and Jurnti (Mt Dennison area). ‘Marlu’ are highly valued as a food source by Warlpiri people. In the story of this painting an old ancestral kangaroo named Warlawee, who made its camp at Jurnti and moves from place to place – hunting during the day and returning at night to the camp, which it has formed by digging depressions in the soft ground. Warlawee traveled around large areas of country looking for their preferred foods, which include ‘yukuri’ (fresh green growth) and ‘yulkardi’ (desert cucumber [Mukia micrantha]) a low-growing herb found underneath ‘mulga’ trees which is used by Warlpiri people for medicinal purposes. Concentric circles are often used in depictions of this story to represent the rocks at Yarnardilyi. The arc shapes depict the kangaroo’s camp in the Jurnti area and ‘E’ and hooked shapes usually depict the ‘marlu wirliya’ (kangaroo fore and hind footprints) while long, straight lines represent the ‘marlu ngirnti’ (kangaroo tail tracks).

Alic Nampijinpa Michaels

Artist’s Bio

Alice has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, since 2006. Alice paints her father’s country at Pirlinyanu, about 170km west of Yuendumu and her grandmother’s country Lappi Lappi, near Lake Hazlett, northwest of Lake Mackay in Western Australia. When she’s not painting she likes to go hunting with her grandchildren for goanna, bush tomatoes and sweet potato.

Lappi Lappi Jukurrpa (Lappi Lappi Dreaming)

The subject of this work is Lappi Lappi, a rock hole near Lake Hazlett, about 90 km northwest of Lake Mackay in Western Australia. The country belongs to Nampijinpa/Jampijinpa and Nangala/Jangala skin groups. Located in a sheltered basin, the rock hole at Lappi Lappi is a permanent source of water, and is surrounded by country rich in bush tucker. In the time of the Jukurrpa (Dreamtime) many mothers with young children would gather there because it was a safe place to stay. The rock hole at Lappi Lappi is home to a ‘warnayarra’, a rainbow serpent that travels underground between various rock holes. One day, women were gathered at the rock hole with their children, singing and dancing. When the ‘warnayarra’ heard the sound of voices, it travelled silently towards them, under the water. When it reached the edge of the rock hole, it rose out of the water and ate them all.

Andrea Nungarrayi Martin

Artist’s Bio

Andrea paints her father’s Jukurrpa stories, Dreamings which related directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. These stories were passed down to her by her father and his father’s father before them for millennia. Andrea uses traditional iconography, while developing an individualistic style to depict her traditional Jukurrpa. Andrea has been exhibiting in group exhibitions since 1990, culminating in a solo exhibition in 2008.

‘Janganpa manu Jajirdi’ 1998 (Possum and Native Cat Dreaming)

This print represents part of a larger story. It depicts the journey to and preparation for a kurdiji (initiation ceremony) by the Jarjirdi, whose footprints are depicted in red. They stared out from Watarrka (Kings Canyon) and travelled north to Warrunungu near Kirrirdi creek where they made kurlarda (spears). One of the Jarjirdi men, a Japaljarri, returned to Watarrka to collect the rdurmpa ‘curse bag’ containing the yarda – sacred ritual objects needed for the journey to Yamirringi – and the kurdiji. He then rejoined the other Jajirdi and continued heading north. When reaching Yamirringi, the Jarjirdi rested then held the kurdiji. At the site of the large ngapiri (red river gum) at Yirparjipi, where the Jarjirdi met the Janganpa (represented by the black design) a huge fight erupted with each side hurling spears at the other. With a boomerang, the Jajirdi struck the Janganpa (causing his tail to be so long) and again in the foot. After the fight the Janganpa left for Mungapunju, the hill near Yuendumu. This story belongs to Jungarrayi and Japaljarri men. The possums that used to live in the Yuendumu area, lived in hollow trees. The trees are shown as concentric circles. The long wavy lines are the trails of the Janganpa and Jajirdi, with their footprints on either side. The “U” shape is shown as a person hunting for janganpa and jajirdi

Elaine Nangala Brown

Artist’s Bio

Elaine paints her grandmother’s and mother’s Ngarlkirdi Jukurrpa (Witchety Grub Dreaming). Stories which relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. These stories were passed down to her by her mother and her mother before her for millennia. She uses traditional iconography while developing a contemporary style to depict her traditional Jukurrpa.

Watiya-warnu Jukurrpa (Seed Dreaming)

This painting tells the story of a Jangala ‘watiya-warnu’ (Acacia tenuissima) ancestor who travelled south from a small hill called Ngurlupurranyangu to Yamunturrngu (Mount Liebig). As he travelled he picked the ‘watiya-warnu’ seeds and placed them in ‘parrajas’ (food carriers), one of which he carried on his head. Watiya-warnu is a seed bearing tree that grows in open spinifex or mulga country. The associated ‘watiya-warnu’ ceremony involves the preparation of a large ground painting. This Jukurrpa belongs to Nampijinpa/Nangala women and Jampijinpa/Jangala men. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, particular sites and other elements. In paintings of this Dreaming ‘U’ shapes are often depicting women collecting the ‘watiya-warnu’ seeds. Oval shapes represent the ‘parrajas’ where they carry the seeds and strait lines beside them frequently portrait digging sticks.

Lloyd Jampijinpa Brown

Artist’s Bio

Lloyd first started painting for the art centre on small canvas boards which are given to the school children as part of the art centre cultural maintenance program during the school holidays. He has been painting on canvas since 2002. He paints the stories that have been passed down to him for millenia, these stories relate directly to Llody’s traditonal country, the animals and features which are commonly found in those places. Lloyd also helps out at the Art Centre, assisting with   the preparation of art canvasses.

Yankirri Jukurrpa (Emu Dreaming) – Ngarlikurlangu

This particular site of the Yankirri Jukurrpa, (emu Dreaming [Dromaius novaehollandiae]) is at Ngarlikurlangu, north of Yuendumu. The ‘yankirri’ travelled to the rockhole at Ngarlikurlangu to find water. This Jukurrpa story belongs to Jangala/Jampijinpa men and Nangala/Nampijinpa women. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, associated sites and other elements. Emus are usually represented by their ‘wirliya’ (footprints), arrow-like shapes that show them walking around Ngarlikurlangu eating ‘yakajirri’ (bush raisin [Solanum centrale]). In the time of the Jukurrpa there was a fight at Ngarlikiurlangu between a ‘yankirri’ ancestor and Wardilyka (Australian bustard [Ardeotis australis]) ancestors over sharing the ‘yakajirri’. There is also a dance for this Jukurrpa that is performed during initiation ceremonies.

Malcolm Jampijinpa Fry

Artist’s Bio

Malcolm has worked with WYN Health since August 2005, a local health organization which is empowering people to be responsible for their own health and well being. In his spare time he likes to play football and he avidly supports the Magpies, the Yuendumu football team. The country Malcolm’s family belongs to on his father’s side is north of Yuendumu which carries the Yankirri (emu )and Ngapa (water) Dreaming. These are the Dreaming stories which he paints.

Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) – Mikanji

The country associated with this ‘ngapa Jukurrpa’ (water Dreaming) is Mikanji, a watercourse west of Yuendumu that is usually dry. There are ‘mulju’ (soakages) in this creek bed. The ‘kirda’ (owners) of this Dreaming site are Nangala/Nampijinpa women and Jangala/Jampijinpa men. Mikanji is an important water Dreaming site, and features in at least three different water Dreaming tracks. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings, traditional iconography is used to represent the ‘Jukurrpa’ (Dreaming), associated sites, and other elements. In many paintings of this Dreaming, short dashes are often used to represent ‘mangkurdu’ (cumulus & stratocumulus clouds), and longer, flowing lines represent ‘ngawarra’ (flood waters). Small circles are used to depict ‘mulju’ (soakages) and river beds.

Norelle Nangala Robertson

Artist’s Bio

Not Available.

 

Yarla Jukurrpa (Bush Potato Dreaming) – Cockatoo Creek

This Yarla Jukurrpa belongs to men of the Japaljarri/Jungarrayi subsections and to Napaljarri/Nungarrayi women. It comes from an area to the east of Yuendumu called Cockatoo Creek. ‘Yarla’ (bush potato [Ipomea costata]) are fibrous tubers that grow beneath a low spreading plant, found by looking for cracks in the ground. This edible tuber grows from ‘yartura’ (roots) which seek out moisture to spout new plants. Yarla are good to eat, when cooked they are really soft and tasty. The Jukurrpa tells of ‘yarla’ and ‘wapirti’ (bush carrot [Vigna lanceolata]) ancestors fighting a big battle in this area. The specific site associated with this painting is a ‘mulju’ (water soakage) called Ngarparapunyu. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, associated sites and other elements. The curved lines of the ‘kuruwarri’ (ceremonial designs) represent the ‘ngamarna’ (vine-like tendrils) from which grow ‘jinjirla’ (flowers). ‘Karlangu’ (digging sticks) are usually represented as straight lines. ‘Karlangu’are used by women to dig for bush tucker like Yarla and Wapirti which are found underground.

Paddy Japaljarri Stewart

Artist’s Bio

Paddy Stewart was previously the chairman for the Warlukurlangu Artists Committee, and painted regularly including working on the Yuendumu School Doors. In 1988 he was selected by The Power Gallery, Sydney University to travel to Paris with five other Warlpiri men from Yuendumu to create a ground painting installation at the exhibition ‘Magiciens de la Terre’ at the Centre Georges Pompidou. The trip took place in May 1989 and the painting was received with world wide acclaim. Paddy Japaljarri Stewart exhibited artwork throughout Australia & around the world; including exhibitions in France, USA, Germany, UK, French Polynesia & Amsterdam. Paddy Japaljarri Stewart is featured in the collections of Major Art Institutions in Australia and around the world.

Janganpa Jukurrpa (Possum Dreaming)

This Dreaming belongs to Japaljarri and Jungarrayi men. The site for this Dreaming is Yampirringi, east of Yuendumu. One possum was a lover boy for a possum woman from Warkaningi. He travelled from Yampiiringi to Warkaningi to take that woman. In this print the possum is represented thorughout. The ‘ E’ shapes are the possum footprints and sinuous lines are the imprint left by the possum’s tail in the sand.

Pamela Napurrurla Walker

Artist’s Bio

Pamela has been working with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre in Yuendumu since 1994 but it wasn’t until 2006 that she began to paint full time. She paints her father’s jurkurrpa, Dreamings which relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. These stories were told to her by her father, stories that have been passed down through the millennia.

Pamela’s paintings have strong iconic themes that are colourful and bold. When Pamela is not painting or looking after her family she likes to go hunting, especially for bush potato.

Janganpa Jukurrpa (Brush-tail Possum Dreaming)- Mawurrji

Janganpa Jukurrpa (common brush-tail possum [Trichosurus vulpecula] Dreaming) travels all over Warlpiri country. ‘Janganpa’ are nocturnal animals that often nest in the hollows of white gum trees (‘wapunungka’). This story comes from a big hill called Mawurrji, west of Yuendumu and north of Pikilyi (Vaughan Springs). A group of ‘janganpa’ ancestors resided there. Every night they would go out in search of food. Their hunting trips took them to Wirlki and Wanapirdi, where they found ‘pamapardu’ (flying ants). They journeyed on to Ngarlkirdipini looking for water.  In Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent this Jukurrpa. ‘Janganpa’ tracks are often represented as ‘E’ shaped figures and concentric circles are used to depict the trees in which the ‘janganpa’ live, and also the sites at Mawurrji.

Shanna Napanangka Williams

Artist’s Bio

Shanna has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, since 2002, when she was 14 years of age. She began painting during the school holidays when the art centre ran cultural maintenance programs for the school children. Shanna paints her father’s Jukurrpa stories, Dreamings which relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. These stories were passed down to her by her father and her great grandfather. Shanna uses an unrestricted palette, building on traditions that stretch back at least fifty millennia, developing a modern interpretation of her traditional culture.

Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) – Puyurru

The site depicted in this painting is Puyurru, west of Yuendumu. In the usually dry creek beds are ‘mulju’ (soakages), or naturally occurring wells. The ‘kirda’ (owners) for this site are Nangala/Nampijinpa women and Jangala/Jampijinpa men. Two Jangala men, rainmakers, sang the rain, unleashing a giant storm. The storm travelled across the country from the east to the west, initially travelling with a ‘pamapardu Jukurrpa’ (termite Dreaming) from Warntungurru to Warlura, a waterhole 8 miles east of Yuendumu. At Warlura, a gecko called Yumariyumari blew the storm on to Lapurrukurra and Wilpiri. Bolts of lightning shot out at Wirnpa (also called Mardinymardinypa) and at Kanaralji. At this point the Dreaming track also includes the ‘kurdukurdu mangkurdu Jukurrpa’ (children of the clouds Dreaming). The water Dreaming built hills at Ngamangama using baby clouds and also stuck long pointy clouds into the ground at Jukajuka, where they can still be seen today as rock formations. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings, traditional iconography is used to represent the ‘Jukurrpa’ (Dreaming). Short dashes are often used to represent ‘mangkurdu’ (cumulus & stratocumulus clouds), and longer, flowing lines represent ‘ngawarra’ (flood waters). Small circles are used to depict ‘mulju’ (soakages) and river bed.

Teranie Nangala WIlliams

Artist’s Bio

Not Available.

Yankirri Jukurrpa (Emu Dreaming) – Ngarlikurlangu

This particular site of the Yankirri Jukurrpa, (emu Dreaming [Dromaius novaehollandiae]) is at Ngarlikurlangu, north of Yuendumu. The ‘yankirri’ travelled to the rockhole at Ngarlikurlangu to find water. This Jukurrpa story belongs to Jangala/Jampijinpa men and Nangala/Nampijinpa women. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, associated sites and other elements. Emus are usually represented by their ‘wirliya’ (footprints), arrow-like shapes that show them walking around Ngarlikurlangu eating ‘yakajirri’ (bush raisin [Solanum centrale]). In the time of the Jukurrpa there was a fight at Ngarlikiurlangu between a ‘yankirri’ ancestor and Wardilyka (Australian bustard [Ardeotis australis]) ancestors over sharing the ‘yakajirri’. There is also a dance for this Jukurrpa that is performed during initiation ceremonies.

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