Artist(s): Nyangapa Nora Nangapa, Nora Wompi, Bugai Whylouter, Kumpaya Girgaba
Date created: 2008
Art Centre(s): Martumili Artists
Medium: acrylic on canvas
Artwork Story: The central water in this painting is Kunkun, an important women’s site belonging to Marlu Jukurrpa, or ‘kangaroo Dreaming’. This Jukurrpa is also significant within men’s law and contains elements restricted to initiated men and women. Despite the title, there are 57 named sites in this painting, 11 of which are stock route wells. These are places where the artists lived, where family members were born and died, and where ancestral beings left their power. Two younger women, Mary Njana and Jacinta Galova, helped the senior artists paint Kunkun. As they did so, they learned some of the stories, which are integral to education in desert cultures. After completing the painting, the artists travelled to Kunkun, where they taught young women the song and dance for this Country.
Location depicted: Kunkun
Artwork copyright: ©2013 Nyangapa Nora Nangapa, Nora Wompi, Bugai Whylouter, Kumpaya Girgaba
Catalogue ID: NN/NW/BW/KG/184/MM
Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on use
Photographer: Jason McCarthy
Photograph date: 2010-02-18
Photography copyright: National Museum of Australia
Artist(s) biography: Nyangapa Nora Nangapa born about 1916 Manyjilyjarra language group Karimarra skin group Kunawarritji community Martumili Artists I was born near Lipuru. We went from Lipuru to Wajaparni and Kilykily. They looked after me there as I grew. I went east … and kept on going towards Balgo, travelling with the drovers all the way. Nyangapa lives at Kunawarritji and travels regularly between Kunawarritji and Balgo. She paints for both Martumili and Warlayirti Artists, and many younger artists describe having learned to paint by watching her example. Nora Wompi born about 1935 Manyjilyjarra, Kukatja language groups Nungurrayi skin group Kunawarritji and Balgo communities Martumili Artists Wompi was born with ‘pussycat’ (feral cat) Dreaming at Pingakurangu rock hole near Kunawarritji. As a young girl, she travelled north with the drovers to Billiluna and Balgo. Today she lives at Kunawarritji, but continues to travel regularly between Well 33 and Balgo, where she has many relatives. Wompi paints for both Warlayirti and Martumili art centres. Bugai Whylouter born about 1945 Warnman, Kartujarra language groups Purungu skin group Kunawarritji community Martumili Artists I saw whitefellas first time in Parnngurr. We were climbing up the hills [to get away]. Bugai was born at Balfour Downs and grew up around Kartarru (Well 24), Wantili (Well 25), Tiwa (Well 26) and Wuranu (Well 29). She travelled around Karlamilyi with her husband, and later with drovers on the stock route. In 1963 her family met surveyor Len Beadell, who was grading roads. They were taken to Jigalong. Kumpaya Girgaba born about 1945 Manyjilyjarra language group Karimarra skin group Parnngurr community Martumili Artists A respected law woman and cultural leader, Kumpaya was born near Kiwirrkurra and grew up around the Canning Stock Route. For many years her family avoided contact with Europeans, but eventually they moved to Jigalong mission to join their relatives. Kumpaya learned how to paint and weave baskets while visiting family in Balgo, Fitzroy Crossing and Patjarr. She is credited with introducing these skills to Martu people.
Artwork Diagram: kunkun_various_detail_corrections_purlpu_CSR_windy corner
Accession ID: 20131014_FORM_MIRA_B0045_0054
Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.