Yarla Jukurrpa (Bush Potato Dreaming )
- Synthetic Polymer Paint on Canvas, stretched
400mm x 300mm
- Cat No. 308-23
This dreaming tells about bush yams or potatoes. The trees are green all year
round. When the flowers are on the tree the women know that the potatoes are
ready to dig for. The women look for long, thin cracks along the ground, made
from the vines of the potato plant. The women dig where the cracks are. The
potatoes are deep in the ground, sometimes more than one meter deep. The
women gather them in wooden dishes, called parraja in Warlpiri. Bush potatoes
are cooked on the coals, and have a sweet taste.
Ursula Napangardi is a younger artist following in the traditions of the Warlpiri people, who now live in small towns in the Tanami Desert. Napangardi’s art can be complex or very simple. Her art depicts Jukurrpa (Dreaming stories, containing information about the creation of the landscape, knowledge of resources and Warlpiri law) or an aspect of Jukurrpa. Her works can be full of colour, or consist of bold confident lines. Her subjects were handed down to her from her grandparents and she is now a custodian of them. She is a lady who has been in the most important ceremonies for Warlpiri women, including her sons' and nephews' ceremonies. Her art is informed not only by her personal cultural history, but also by working for the last 10 years with Warnayaka Artists such as Lily Nungarrayi Hargraves, Kitty Napanangka Simon and Rosie & Molly
Her works have been exhibited in Darwin, Sydney and Brisbane galleries as well as in America. In 2020 they were featured at the enormously successful DAAF online event and then at the Sydney Contemporary by Cooee Art Gallery.
Lajamanu Community, formerly named Hooker Creek, is 580kms south west of Katherine, Northern Territory. Lajamanu is half way between Alice Springs and Darwin to the west near the NT/WA border. The town is very remote, with a population of around 900 Warlpiri people.
Warnayaka Art 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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