Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) - Pirlinyarnu
Julie Nangala Robertson
183 x 91 cm
Acrylic on linen
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This piece comes professionally stretched.
About the Artist
Julie Nangala Robertson is one of five daughters born in Yuendumu in 1973 to well-known Telstra Award winning artist, Dorothy Napangardi. Since the late 1990’s, while often in the company of her talented mother, Julie has pursued and developed a creative visual language of her own, one which consists of a fascinating blend of stylised experimentation and ancient narrative.
Usually an aerial perspective along with a more recently and established distinctive monochromatic pallette, Julie’s current paintings (which depict the topographical features of her traditional country at the site of Pirlinyanu) have become works of extraordinary optical brilliance as she alternates the size of dots throughout her work as well as building up specific shapes or reference points often repeated with overdotting.
Julie has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, since 2007. She paints her mother’s Jukurrpa stories, stories that have been passed down to her by her mother and all the mothers before them for millennia. Her work has been included in numerous collections and exhibitions of Aboriginal Art in both Australia and overseas.
About the Work
The site depicted in this painting is Pirlinyarnu (Mt. Farewell), about 165 km west of Yuendumu in the Northern Territory. The 'kirda' (owners) for the water Dreaming site at Pirlinyarnu are Nangala/Nampijinpa women and Jangala/Jampijinpa men.
Two Jangala men, rainmakers, sang the rain, unleashing a giant storm that collided with another storm from Wapurtali at Mirawarri. A 'kirrkarlanji' (brown falcon [Falco berigora]) carried the storm further west from Mirawarri. The two storms travelled across the country from Karlipirnpa, a ceremonial site for the water Dreaming near Kintore that is owned by members of the Napaljarri/Japaljarri and Napanangka/Japanangka subsections. Along the way the storms passed through Juntiparnta, a site that is owned by Jampijinpa men. The storm eventually became too heavy for the falcon. It dropped the water at Pirlinyarnu, where it formed an enormous 'maluri' (claypan). A 'mulju' (soak) exists in this place today. Whenever it rains today, hundreds of 'ngapangarlpa' (bush ducks) still flock to Pirlinyarnu.
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' (soaks) and river beds.