• 15. Purrungu
  • 15. Purrungu
  • 15. Purrungu

Jillian Giles

15. Purrungu

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' This is my mother’s story at Purrungu near Tjukurla. There’s a waterhole there. People would come and sit down and sleep there. There’s a rockhole underground, and Tali (sandhills), there’s Kapi (water) and a lake. Irititja, long ago, all the ladies were travelling around getting bush tucker, crossing the sandhills, with their families. When the rain came, they saw all that water. They go other places, maybe Pangkurrpirri or Yilpikarri, but they always come back'. This Tjukurrpa is Minyma Kutjarra, two ladies, there at the rockhole, sitting round and digging. One of the ladies, she was a mother, she had a baby, so she got milk. Mother gotta go in and get the water from that underground rockhole. Go in when it’s full up, wet, and put that kapi on her mimi (breasts). But there was a snake at that waterhole so she can’t turn around, can’t turn her back to the snake, she just gotta keep walking back from the kapi. Just get that kapi and reverse back. She got that kapi and went back to the other ladies.It’s mum’s dreaming, I can’t do a different story. She told me I gotta do it like this, and when she passed away, we always do it like this. I was gonna put the two ladies [in the canvas], minyma, but I thought leave it, it’s right. I put the lake, the rockhole, the water, and the sandhills, Tali, like my mum always did. That’s the same story, happening in the same place. Yuwa, reallyTjukurrpa'.

Jillian grew up in Kaltukatjara (Docker River) with her parents and her five siblings. She went to school in Alice Springs. She learned to paint from her mother the Tjukurrpa of the Tjukurla area. She has been living in painting both Alice Springs and across the Ngaanyatjarra lands in recent years, and visits family in Tjukurla where she paints with the Tjarlirli artists.

Tjarlirli Art and Kaltukatjara Art are two community-owned art centers located on either side of the border between the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The Tjarlirli art centre is located in Tjukurla, a small community of around 50 people in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands. Tjukurla was established here in the 1980s due to its proximity to extremely significant cultural sites and the ancestral homelands of community members. Nestled between sand dunes and the vast salt lake (Lake Hopkins). Kaltukatjara art centre is just across the border in the NPY Lands of the Northern Territory. Kaltukatjara (Docker River) community was established as a settlement in the 1960s and is now home to around 300 people. It lies along stunning mountain ranges and river beds.

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