Janganpa Jukurrpa (Brush-tail Possum Dreaming)- Mawurrji
Steven Jupurrurla Nelson
122 x 61 cm
Acrylic on linen
Bid on this piece
This piece comes professionally stretched.
About the Artist
Steven Jupurrurla Nelson was born 30 August 1978 in Alice Springs, NT. He is a lifelong resident of Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community approximately 300 kilometers northwest of Alice Springs on the Tanami road. He was raised by his late mother, Nora Nungarrayi, and his stepfather, Frankie Nelson. His father John Brown was a resident of Papunya.
Steven began painting at Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation in late 2014 after working at the art centre for some time. He typically paints ‘janganpa Jukurrpa’ (brush-tail possum Dreaming) from his mother’s side. His country is located near Nyirrpi, another remote Aboriginal community approximately 170 kilometres west of Yuendumu. His mother’s and grandfather’s country is also in this area. His mother’s country includes the Nginyirrpalangu outstation. His grandfather, Banjo Patterson, owned country that includes Ngarupalya.
Steven enjoys the work and process of painting at Warlukurlangu. When he is not painting, he likes to relax at home, walk around the community with his dog Xena, and go hunting for kangaroos.
About the Work
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. A Nampijinpa women was living at Mawurrji with her two daughters. She gave her daughters in marriage to a Jupurrurla 'janganpa' but later decided to run away with them. The Jupurrurla angrily pursued the woman. He tracked them to Mawurrji where he killed them with a stone axe. Their bodies are now rocks at this place. Warlpiri people perform a young men's initiation ceremony, which involves the Janganpa Jukurrpa. The Janganpa Jukurrpa belongs to Jakamarra/Jupurrurla men and Nakamarra/Napurrurla women. In Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent this Jukurrpa. 'Janganpa' tracks are often represented as 'El shaped figures and concentric circles are used to depict the trees in which the 'janganpa' live, and also the sites at Mawurrji.