• Women’s dreaming: Napangardi, Napanangka-kurlangu
  • Women’s dreaming: Napangardi, Napanangka-kurlangu
  • Women’s dreaming: Napangardi, Napanangka-kurlangu
  • Women’s dreaming: Napangardi, Napanangka-kurlangu
  • Women’s dreaming: Napangardi, Napanangka-kurlangu

Judy Martin Nambia

Women’s dreaming: Napangardi, Napanangka-kurlangu

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    • Synthetic Polymer Paint on Canvas
    • Dimensions: 40cm x 30cm
    • Cat No. 791-23

Judy Martin, skin name Napangardi and nickname Nambia, was born in the late 1930s in the southern Tanami desert. Her mother was the legendary Warlpiri artist, Lorna Yulyurlu Napurrurla Fencer. Nambia's father died shortly after her birth, leaving her to be raised in the bush and around the Dreaming site of Minamina by her mother. During the government relocation scheme in the early 1950s, Nambia's family was rounded up and moved to the community of Yuendumu. As a result of the displacement, many of her siblings moved to Alice Springs and became addicted to alcohol. Like her mother, Nambia has also become a famed artist, exhibiting around the world in Europe and North America, as well as extensively throughout Australia. Nambia's artwork is instantly recognisable for its bold simplicity and her eclectic colour palette. This Jukurrpa (Dreaming) is about the women of the Napangardi and Napanangka skin groups. They left Minamina, dancing as they travelled, until they reached Wakurlpu. When they reached Wakurlpu they continued to dance until late into the night, when they finally slept until dawn. The next morning, the women left Wakurlpu, dancing once more, until they arrived at Yanmajirdikirlangu. Again they slept, before dancing away from Yanmajirdikirlangu in the direction of the rising sun far to the east. As they travelled they gave birth to everything, bringing all the rain clouds, waterholes, and waterways into existence. Finally, they reached the end of their land, so they turned around and danced to the west. When they had travelled as far as they could, the women threw their dancing sticks to the ground, pointing in the direction of west, then they returned to Minamina. When the women were finished, everything was left so Warlpiri people could feed on the knowledge of their homelands. Minamina is a women's dreaming site near Lake Mackay, approximately 700 kilometres south of Lajamanu.

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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