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

Biddy Timms Napanangka

Women’s Dreaming

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    • Acrylic on Canvas
    • Dimensions: 40cm x 30cm
    • Cat No. 409-17

Biddy Timms, skin name Napanangka, is the daughter of Tiger Jupurrurla Timms, who was from the Warlpiri sub-tribe, Ngaliya. Napanangka moved from Gordon Downs to Lajamanu many years ago after the death of her father, who was working on the station at Gordon Downs. Napanangka also spent time on Tanami desert stations, where she was employed as a housekeeper. It was during her years of station work that she learnt to speak English. Although using ochre and oils to paint peoples' bodies for ceremony for much of her life, Napanangka only began to paint her Jukurrpa (Dreaming) onto canvas after the Warnayaka Art Centre re-opened in 2007. In addition to painting her traditional Jukurrpa stories, Napanangka's paintings have also explored her Christian faith. This dreaming tells about women’s ceremony. It affirms womens place in Warlpiri society. The Dreaming story marks large tracks of land of which women are guardian over. Particular men are workers for the women. they are called kurdungurlu. This works in reverse as well, where the particular women work for particular men. Only the women know this dreaming. It talks about travelling from north to south, west to east into the new sun signifying a new day and new life. They teaching all the young kids. They all teach people from different skin groups, so that the dreamings are passed along to the young children.

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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