Yankirri Jukurrpa (Emu Dreaming) - Ngarlikurlangu
Margaret Nangala Gallagher
91 x 91 cm
Acrylic on linen
Bid on this piece
About the Artist
Margaret Nangala Gallagher was born in 1967 in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km from Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. She is the daughter of Pauline Napangardi Gallagher, an artist who has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists since 2005. Margaret attended the local Yuendumu School but shortly after moved to Nyirripi with her family. Margaret still lives in Nyirripi, an Aboriginal community 160 kms west of Yuendumu. She is single and has one sister and three brothers. Margaret has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, since 2007. Warlukurlangu Artists is an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, and has been providing the residents of Nyirripi with materials to paint since 2005. She paints with her mother and learnt to paint watching her mother and other people in the community painting. She particularly enjoys painting with her mother as it is an opportunity for her and her mother to share their Jukurrpa stories, Dreamings passed down to her by her father and mother and their parents before them for millennia. Margaret paints her Yankirri Jakurrpa (Emu Dreaming) from her father’s side and this Jukurrpa story belongs to Jangala/Jampijinpa men and Nangala/Nampijinpa women. When Margaret is not painting she is studying at Batchelor College in Alice Springs as well as working at the Women’s Centre in Nyirripi.
About the Work
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.