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					      The Warlukurlangu
         Collection:
    a celebration of 25 years of
        painting in Yuendumu

Come on a journey to Yuendumu in the desert
           of Central Australia.

  While you are there, look at the artwork,
  learn about the artists, and discover how
  the Warlpiri people use art to keep their
   culture strong and teach their children
what is important. You can also learn about
the history of the paintings, and by taking
  some time to look at one or two works in
 detail, you can discover the stories about
  the Dreaming and the land that lie within
                 the artwork.




                     1
 Betsy Lewis Napangardi Mina Mina Jukurrpa 2004 acrylic on canvas 122
x 107 cm courtesy Walukurlangu Artists (refer to page 2 for the story
                         about this painting)


These paintings tell stories about the land and
important sites of the Warlpiri people.
                Artist: Liddy Walker Napanangka
                Title: Ngalyipi Jukurrpa (Snake Vine Dreaming)
                Date of work: 2004
                Size: 122 x 76 cm

                The country referred to in this painting is
                Purtulu (Mt Theo) area.
               In this painting all the Napangardi and
               Napanangka women are collecting the ngalyipi
               (snake vine). These materials are associated
               with initiation ceremonies for young Japanangka
and Japangardi men.Ngalyipi (Snake vine, shown by the curvy
lines) has great ceremonial significance. The Dreaming belongs
to Napanangka and Napangardi women.



                                  2
Ngalyipi is used to make shoulder straps to help carry ngami
(water carriers) and parraja (food carriers).


                  Artist: Betsy Lewis Napangardi
                  Title: Mina Mina Jukurrpa (Mina Mina
                  Dreaming)
                  Date of work: 2004
                  Size: 122 x 107 cm
                  This story is part of Karntakurlangu
                  (Women’s Dreaming) which belongs to the
Napanangka/Napangardi sub-section and is depicted by a central
motif.
During the Dreamtime a group of Napanangka/Napangardi women
travelled through Janyinki to Mina Mina, the site associated
with this Dreaming, on their way east. They carried Karlangu
(digging sticks) and collected bush tucker, such as
Jintiparnta and Purlurntari (varieties of edible fungus, which
are known as native truffle), which they carried in their
Parraja (food carriers). These foods are found after the
rains. The growing fungus forces the earth to crack, exposing
it so that it can be gathered for food. Women collect the
Jintapunta, squeeze out the juice, then eat it after cooking.
Napanangka/Napangardi were collecting Ngalyipi to make a
shoulder strap to carry their coolamon with bush tucker.


                Artist: Paddy Stewart Japaljarri
                Title: Ngatijirri (Green Budgerigar)
                Date of work: 2003
                Size: 152 x 107 cm

                This Jukurrpa comes from the east of
                Yuendumu. Ngatijirri are small, bright green
                budgerigars that are prevalent after rain.
                The Ngatijirri are shown in this painting by
                their woliya (footprints), the arrow like
                shapes.

The ngurra (camp) of the ngatijirri are circles. In the
Dreamtime there are Ngatijirri ancestors who are yapa
(people). Japaljarri and Jungurrayi men are kirda (owners) for
this country, the designs and associated ceremonies. This
dance is done for young men at ceremony time.




                               3
Introduction

Not many schools are famous for their doors, but
the Yuendumu school doors have been shown in art
galleries all around the country and also
overseas. What could make a school’s doors so
important?

In 1983, the Yuendumu community decided that they
wanted to paint the school doors with the
Dreaming stories of the region. In the words of
Paddy Japaltjarri Stewart, one of the artists who
worked on the project:

 We painted these Dreamings on the school doors
 because the children should learn about our Law.
 The children do not know them and they might become
 like white people, and we don’t want that to
 happen. We are relating these true stories of the
 Dreamtime. We show them to the children and explain
 them so that the children will know them. We want
 the children to learn about and know our Law, our
 Dreamings. That is why we painted these Dreamtime
 stories.

The paintings that the artists did on the doors
were of the Dreaming stories. The doors show 27
Dreaming stories and illustrate more than 200
individual sites in the land nearby.

In some ways the paintings can be read a bit like
maps, showing particular pieces of land with
special places marked on them. People who
understand the stories that the paintings tell
can also sing the songs that go with those
stories. Often Aboriginal dot paintings from
Central Australia are accompanied by a story,
which explains to the viewer some of the events
that are shown in the painting. The meaning
behind the paintings is actually much more
complicated than when we are told, but this
information is only allowed to be known by
certain senior Aboriginal people.

                         4
These stories are still painted by the artists
working in Yuendumu, and the paintings in this
exhibition tell the same stories.




                        5
About to community at Yuendumu:
Yuendumu is located 300 km north-west of Alice
Springs, and has a population of about 1300
people. Except for Alice Springs, it is the
largest community in Central Australia

About Warlukurlalngu Artists:
Warlukurlangu Artists is an Aboriginal owned and
governed association, which represents almost 200
Aboriginal artists from the Warlpiri and
Anmatyerre language groups. The word
Warlukurlangu means ‘belonging to fire’

About some of the words that we use:
Warlpiri
Anmatyerre
These are both language groups of Aboriginal
people whose country is associated with the land
around Yuendumu. When the British colonists
arrived in Australia, there were more than 200
different languages spoken by the Aboriginal
people. Many of the languages are no longer
spoken, because the colonists tried to stop the
Aboriginal people using their languages, but in
more remote areas such as the desert, many people
learn their Aboriginal languages before they
learn English. At Yuendumu, English is taught as
a second language to children from Grade 3
onwards.

Dreamings:
‘Dreaming’ is the English word that we use to
translate the word ‘Jukurrpa’, used by Warlpiri
people (and many other language groups). There is
no English word that really captures the meaning
of ‘Jukurrpa’, and it is hard for us to
understand what the term really means to
Aboriginal people.

Jukurrpa is about:
 Aboriginal religion, law and moral systems
 the past, the present and the future

                        6
 the creation period when ancestral beings
  created the world as it is now
 the relationship between people, plants,
  animals and the physical features of the land
 the knowledge of how these relationships came
  to be, what they mean and how they need to be
  maintained in daily life and in ceremony.

Artists from Yuendumu represent different aspects
of Jukurrpa in their artwork.




                        7
Questions about the exhibition

‘We’re not like whitefellas who can take a
photograph and say what pretty country it is;
we’ve got a song to sing for that country. The
country has got sacred sites. That stone, that
mountain has got Dreaming.’
—Wenten Rubuntja, from Hermannsburg (about 100 km west of
                                           Alice Springs)

Look at the artworks in the exhibition. How do
you think that the artists use their artwork to
express their connection with the land? Do you
think this is a different way of relating to the
land to how non-Aboriginal people relate to the
land? Give reasons for your answer
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Liddy Walker
Napanangka,
Ngalyipi
Jukurrpa (Snake
Vine Dreaming)
2004 122 x 76 cm
Courtesy
Walukurlangu
Artists. Refer
to page 2 for
the story that
accompanies this
painting




                            8
People connect with different artworks for
different reasons.

Choose one work in the exhibition that you feel a
special connection with. Describe the artwork,
and say what you like about it, and why you think
that you feel connected with it.

Artist: ...........................................

Title: ............................................

Date: .................. Medium: ...................

Description of the work ...........................

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What do you like about the work? Why do you think
that you have a connection with it?

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                         9
Find the three works called Pampardi Jukurrpa
(Flying Ant) by Jack Jakamarra Ross, Clarise
Poulson and Maggie Napangardi Watson

All three of these artists are custodians of this
Dreaming, and so are allowed to paint this story.

Look at the three paintings. What do the images
have in common? What is different? ...............

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The artworks in this exhibition are painted with
the bright colours of acrylic paints. Why do you
think that the artists have chosen these colours?

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                        10
Why do you think that the artists have used the
medium of visual art to pass on their culture to
the young people in their community and also to
the wider world?

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The artworks in this exhibition all show special
places for the artists and their communities.
Symbols are used to show places where things have
happened and the people who were involved.

Think of a place that is special to you. What
symbols would you use to show the important
features of that place? Design an artwork which
shows this place, and write a description which
might help other people to understand your
artwork.
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                               .................


                        11
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Discussion topic:
What information do you think that Aboriginal
artists from Yuendumu want to transmit with their
artworks?

Who do you think is the intended recipient of the
information?

In what ways do you think that the messages or
the audience have changed over time? In what ways
do you think that they have stayed the same?


Research project:
In what ways do Aboriginal artists use their
artworks as a form of cultural revival? Give
examples to illustrate your argument.




                        12
Paddy Stewart Japaljarri Ngatijirri (Green Budgerigar) 2003 152 x 107
cm courtesy Walukurlangu Artists (refer to page 2 for the story
about this painting)




          The Warlukurlangu
             Collection:
      a celebration of 25 years of
          painting in Yuendumu

            This exhibition is presented at

                                 13
  Flinders University Art Museum City Gallery
       State Library of South Australia
                   North Tce
                    Adelaide

               19 February–17 April 2005


 To make a booking or for further information
    about the Flinders University Art Museum
      programs, galleries and collections,
please contact the Campus Gallery on 8201 2695.




Education materials prepared by Allison Russell, Program Manager.




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