• Women’s Dreaming
  • Women’s Dreaming
  • Women’s Dreaming
  • Women’s Dreaming
  • Women’s Dreaming

Kitty Simon

Women’s Dreaming

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  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • Dimensions: 40cm x 30cm
  • Cat No. 275-14

Kitty Simon, skin name Napanangka, was born in Yuendumu in 1948, then was moved to Lajamanu at the age of 10. Her family's traditional homeland is around the Lake Mackay area, about 650 kilometres south of Lajamanu. Napanangka draws on her experiences as a desert walker travelling throughout the Tanami desert and her knowledge of Warlpiri culture and ceremony to create her art. Her paintings masterfully combine optic whites with an array of bold pastels that, not only reflect her bright personality, but also define the feeling and colours of desert flowers, blooming after rain, the clear skies, and the salt plains of Mina Mina around Lake Mackay. Working in a variety of mediums, Napanangka has achieved great success, appealing to a widespread audience, for her contemporary abstract art that subscribes to a distinctive, singular aesthetic. Initially, Napanangka's paintings were denounced by senior men in the Lajamanu community for appearing to digress too far from her traditional Jukurrpa (Dreaming). But it is the uniqueness of her work that has won many admirers amongst critics, gallerists, and art lovers. Over time, her paintings have also become accepted and admired within the local Warlpiri community. Napanangka has been exhibited extensively around both Australia and internat This dreaming tells about a women’s ceremony. Only the women know this dreaming. It talks about travelling from north to south, east and west teaching all the young kids. They all teach people from different skin groups, so that the dreamings are passed along to the young children.ionally. She has been well represented by Cooee Leven Art Gallery in Sydney, featuring in solo exhibitions since 2013.

Lajamanu has a population of around 900 Warlpiri people. The older generation see Warnayaka as an avenue to achieve a number of needs that are present in their community. At the centre these elders still create their dot paintings. The most important thing expressed by members, is the need to preserve and pass on the cultural significance of Warlpiri, the culture of the people of Lajamanu, which encompasses not only art, but includes language, social structure, law and country. In doing so it is understood that excellence in art, prosperity from art sales, employment opportunities and preservation of pride in being Warlpiri will result. The art centre is a Warlpiri corporation and is staffed mainly by the children of the older generation of Indigenous Lajamanu residents who remember their first contact with white Australia. They maintain the computerised data base and run the art centre production. Older and younger community members produce Aboriginal dot paintings and make wooden artefacts. The centre is a place for a cup of tea and a song and dance, and then a trip into the Spinifex desert to look for goanna and lizards or to collect bush coconut, bush banana, yams and bush honey from native bees.

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