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Canning Stock Route and Surrounding Country

Artist(s): Kumpaya Girgaba, Ngamayu Ngamaru Bidu, Mitutu Mabel Wakarta, Ngalangka Nola Taylor, Thelma Judson, Marjorie Yates, Jugarda Dulcie Gibbs, Yuwali Janice Nixon, Mantararr Rosie Williams, Nyangapa Nora Nangapa, Bugai Whylouter, Nora Wompi, Jakayu Biljabu, Morika Biljabu

Date created: 2008
Art Centre(s): Martumili Artists
Size: 292.3x129
Medium: acrylic on canvas

Artwork Story: Kumpaya Girgaba laid out the initial design for this painting, which all the artists collaboratively customised and elaborated. When the painting was nearing completion, Kumpaya called out the names of all the waterholes depicted here. This painting, which was produced by 14 women artists at Kunawarritji (Well 33), represents a stretch of Country crossed by the Canning Stock Route. It depicts a number of the waterholes that were made into wells, but many other permanent and ephemeral water sources are also included. When the Canning Stock Route was in use as a droving highway, many of the artists relied on these other waters to ensure their safe passage through this contested land.

Place of creation: Well 33

Artwork copyright: ©2013 Kumpaya Girgaba, Ngamayu Ngamaru Bidu, Mitutu Mabel Wakarta, Ngalangka Nola Taylor, Thelma Judson, Marjorie Yates, Jugarda Dulcie Gibbs, Yuwali Janice Nixon, Mantararr Rosie Williams, Nyangapa Nora Nangapa, Bugai Whylouter, Nora Wompi, Jakayu Biljabu, Morika Biljabu
Catalogue ID: KG/NB/MW/NT/TJ/MY/DG/JN/RW/NN/BW/NW/JB/MB/201/MM
Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on use

Photographer: Jason McCarthy
Photograph date: 2008-06-09
Photography copyright: National Museum of Australia
Format: Image
Category: Artwork

Artist(s) biography: 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. Ngamayu Ngamaru Bidu born about 1950 Manyjilyjarra language group, Karimarra skin group Parnngurr community Martumili Artists Ngamayu grew up around Pitu. As a child, she encountered surveyor Len Beadell, who was grading roads near Well 22. He gave Ngamayu and her siblings fruit. Not realising that it was meant to be eaten raw, they cooked the fruit until it was completely dried up. After meeting Beadell, Ngamayu’s family was picked up at Parnngurr rock hole and taken to Jigalong. Mitutu Mabel Warkarta born about 1920 Warnman language group, Milangka skin group Parnngurr community Martumili Artists After Mabel’s mother and father died, she was ‘grown up’ by one of her aunts. She walked around Karlamilyi and Warnman Country, and when she was older she travelled with her promised husband. After walking into Jigalong, she worked on various cattle stations. Mabel married twice more after the death of her first husband. Ngalangka Nola Taylor senior translator and project adviser Nola works closely with Martumili Artists as a translator and adviser for Martu people. In 2007 she joined the ‘return to Country’ trip at Well 36. She has translated the majority of the Martu oral histories for the Canning Stock Route project. As a cultural mentor under the leadership of Martu elder, Kumpaya Girgaba, she has also provided guidance and support to curator Hayley Atkins, filmmaker Morika Biljabu and the whole project team. She has helped facilitate many trips in Martu Country. Nola is also an artist featured in the Canning Stock Route collection. Thelma Judson born about 1956 Manyjilyjarra language group, Milangka skin group Parnngurr community Martumili Artists Thelma was born in the Percival Lakes region and grew up around Yimiri and Kurturarra. In 1964 her family was one of the last Martu groups to leave the desert and be reunited with their families at Jigalong mission. After she left school, Thelma moved to Strelley station and married in Jigalong, where she had her children. Today she lives in Parnngurr with her husband, Yanjimi Peter Rowlands, and their children. Marjorie Yates born about 1950 Manyjilyjarra language group, Karimarra skin group Kunawarritji Community Martumili Artists Marjorie was married to senior Martu man Jeffrey James, who died in 2008. After establishing Kunawarritji community in the 1980s, she and her husband raised their children there. Marjorie lives at Kunawarritji today with her children and grandchildren. Jugarda Dulcie Gibbs born about 1947, died 2011 Manyjilyjarra language group, Milangka skin group Punmu and Kunawarritji communities Martumili Artists Dulcie grew up in the country between Kunawarritji and Yimiri. In 1957, after the death of her father at Karlamilyi (Rudall River), the family moved to Jigalong. With her sisters Muni Rita Simpson and Mantararr Rosie Williams, she returned to her Country at Punmu in 1982. She now lives in Kunawarritji with her husband, children and grandchildren. Yuwali Janice Nixon born about 1947 Manyjilyjarra, Mangala language groups, Purungu skin group Parnngurr community Martumili Artists Yuwali was born at Yulpu soak in the Percival Lakes. In 1964 her family group, which consisted only of women and children, tried to evade a native welfare patrol officer who was attempting to bring them in to Jigalong mission. This story is depicted in the book Cleared Out and the film Contact. Yuwali later worked on a number of stations, but finally moved closer to her Country in 1982 when she moved to Punmu. Mantararr Rosie Williams born about 1943 Manyjilyjarra, Mangala language groups, Milangka skin group Punmu community Martumili Artists Rosie was born at Kurupu, near Kurturarra in the Percival Lakes. After her father died at Karlamilyi (Rudall River), Rosie and her sisters, Jugarda Dulcie Gibbs and Muni Rita Simpson, met up with some Martu people who told them that their relatives were at Jigalong, and so they moved to the mission. In 1982 Rosie returned to her homelands at Punmu, where she lives today with her children and grandchildren. 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. 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. 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. Jakayu Biljabu born about 1937 Manyjilyjarra language group, Purungu skin group Punmu community Martumili Artists Jakayu was born near Pitu, east of Well 25, and grew up around Kunawarritji, Rarrki and Nyilangkurr, where her father died. In 1963, with her husband and extended family, she met the surveyor Len Beadell, who was grading roads for the Woomera rocket range. This meeting prompted them to join their relatives who were living at Jigalong mission. In 1982 Jakayu moved to Punmu community, where she lives today with her children and grandchildren. Morika Biljabu photographer and filmmaker Morika lives at Punmu in the heart of Martu Country. Her passion for her family and community inspires all of her film and photographic work. She joined the Canning Stock Route Project in 2007 for the ‘return to Country’ trip at Well 36. She recorded the artists’ workshops and produced a film featuring her grandmother, Jakayu Biljabu. In 2008 her photographs were published in the Weekend Australian magazine; that same year she held her first solo exhibition Ngayunpala Kujungka (We Are One).
Artwork Diagram: canning_stock_route_and_surrounding_country_various_detail

Accession ID: 20131014_FORM_MIRA_B0045_0071

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.

Paruku

Artist(s): Kampirr Veronica Lulu, Kurpaliny Bessie Doonday, Wijiji Anna Johns,Japurra Wendy Wise, Mikarri Shirley Brown, Jamiya Chamia Samuels,Tanja Lyn Manson, Nana Daisy Kungah and Kim Mahood

Date created: 2007
Art Centre(s): Paruku Indigenous Protected Area
Size: 305.5x138
Medium: acrylic on canvas

Artwork Story: In 2001 the native title rights of the Tjurabalan people were recognised by the Federal Court of Australia. More than 4300 square kilometres of their traditional lake Country was declared to be an Indigenous Protected Area.

Today the Paruku Indigenous Protected Area is managed by Tjurabalan traditional owners. Its diverse activities focus on protecting cultural heritage, managing the Paruku (Lake Gregory) lake system’s ecological biodiversity and passing on traditional knowledge to younger generations.

Kartiya used to keep him, that land, but people knew it was for them. My brother [Rex Johns] said, ‘We gotta keep the stories alive, the land alive. We all staying in Mulan now, that’s our country.’
Kurpaliny Bessie Doonday, Halls Creek, 2007

As part of the management of their lands, Paruku artists have been producing extraordinary hybrid maps, which fuse the topographic detail of Western mapmaking with fields of intricate dotting. This map of Paruku shows the rich plant food and medicinal resources surrounding the lake country and the traditional burning practices still employed by Tjurabalan people to maintain its vitality.

Paruku Indigenous Protected Area Collection

Collection: Nabung Collection
Location depicted: Paruku (Lake Gregory)
Place of creation: Lake Stretch
Latitude/Longitude: -19.0796/128.2542

Artwork copyright: ©2013 Kampirr Veronica Lulu, Kurpaliny Bessie Doonday, Wijiji Anna Johns, Japurra Wendy Wise, Mikarri Shirley Brown, Jamiya Chamia Samuels, Tanja Lyn Manson, Nana Daisy Kungah and Kim Mahood
Catalogue ID: WW/BD/VL/CS/AJ/SB/127/PAR
Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on use

Photographer: Jason McCarthy
Photograph date: 2009-06-26
Photography copyright: National Museum of Australia
Format: Image
Category: Artwork

Artist(s) biography:
Kampirr Veronica Lulu
born 1952
Walmajarri language group
Napangarti skin group
Mulan community
Paruku Indigenous Protected Area
[We always sit together and talk about Paruku. My father used to tell story and sing song for Sturt Creek, teach all the kids.

Lulu was born and grew up around Nyarna (Lake Stretch). Before settling at Mulan in her father’s homeland, she lived at Billiluna station and then Balgo, where she helped establish Palyalatju Maparnpa health service. Today she works for Paruku Indigenous Protected Area and paints for both Paruku and Warlayirti art centres.

Kurpaliny Bessie Doonday
born about 1940s
Walmajarri language group
Napangarti skin group
Mulan community
Paruku Indigenous Protected Area
Bessie was born near Billiluna and worked at the old station before travelling to Fitzroy Crossing and Christmas Creek, where her brother Yanpiyarti Ned Cox was living. After returning to Balgo, Bessie’s father, Tiger, and brother, Rex Johns, began advocating for their people to return to Paruku and establish Mulan community.

My brother [Rex Johns] said, ‘We gotta keep the stories alive, the land alive’.

Wijiji Anna Johns
born 1949, died 2013
Ngardi language group
Nakamarra skin group
Mulan community
Paruku Indigenous Protected Area
I was schooling there until I got married in 1968. That’s how I got out of the dormitory.

Anna was born at old Balgo but was taken by nuns and raised in the mission, where she learned English before her own Ngardi language. She and her husband, Rex Johns, worked on stations, raised five children and lived at Balgo before setting up Mulan community.

Japurra Wendy Wise
born 1960, died 2011
Walmajarri language group
Nakarra skin group
Mulan community
Paruku Indigenous Protected Area
Wendy was born at Kurungal near Christmas Creek and grew up in Billiluna. She now lives in Mulan, at the northern end of the Canning Stock Route. Wendy is the sister of Milkujung Jewess James and cousin-sister of Clifford Brooks. Her mother married Rover Thomas’s brother, Whisky. She calls Rover ‘Father’ and Nyuju Stumpy Brown ‘Auntie’. Wendy works closely with Paruku Indigenous Protected Area on cultural projects.

Mikarri Shirley Brown
born 1961
Walmajarri language group
Nangala skin group
Mulan community
Paruku Indigenous Protected Area
Shirley is the daughter of Bessie Doonday and Malcolm Brown, whose father was the Billiluna station manager, Len Brown. She was born in Billiluna and grew up with her grandmother in Alice Springs. In 2001 her elders asked her to set up the Paruku Indigenous Protected Area (IPA). Shirley continues to work for the IPA today, running Caring for Country, Ranger and Collecting Traditional Knowledge programs.

Jamiya Chamia Samuels
born about 1939
Walmajarri language group
Nyapuru skin group
Billiluna community
Paruku Indigenous Protected Area
Chamia’s Country is Nyarna (Lake Stretch), where she was born with green budgerigar Dreaming. Chamia’s father, Wimpingkil Roger, was a drover on the Canning Stock Route, and as a girl she worked on Billiluna station. Chamia is a senior and respected law woman and has spent many years teaching children and young women the songs, stories, dances and cultural knowledge of their Country.

Tanja Lyn Manson
born 1944
Walmajarri language group
Nakarra skin group
Billiluna community
Paruku Indigenous Protected Area
Lyn was born at Moola Bulla station. As a child she walked with her mother to Ruby Plains, where they settled and worked on the station. After her first children were born, Lyn walked to Billiluna, looking for her family. Although many people left Billiluna when the station manager became threatening, Lyn’s family remained and successfully advocated for the establishment of Billiluna community.

Nana Daisy Kungah
born about 1940s
Walmajarri language group
Napanangka skin group
Billiluna community
Paruku Indigenous Protected Area
We doing painting for IPA [Paruku Indigenous Protected Area], telling story about old-people-time.

Daisy belongs to both Paruku, her mother’s Country, and Kaningarra (Well 48), her father’s Country. She was born and grew up in the Sturt Creek area, before coming to Billiluna as a teenager. Today she works closely with the IPA, teaching children about their culture and Country.

Kim Mahood
born 1953 Braidwood, New South Wales
Kim was born in Perth and grew up in Central Australia and in cattle country on Mongrel Downs station in the Tanami Desert. An artist and writer, her memoir Craft for a Dry Lake was published in 2000 and won the 2001 New South Wales Premier’s Award and the Age non-fiction Book of the Year. She has been working with Paruku artists on cultural mapping projects since 2005.
Artwork Diagram: paruku_various_detail

Accession ID: 20131014_FORM_MIRA_B0045_0010

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.

Kinyu

Artist(s): Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin, Wuntupayi Jane Gimme

Date created: 2007
Art Centre(s): Warlayirti Artists
Size: 184x122
Medium: acrylic on linen

Artwork Story: That waterhole I paint is my own Country.
Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin, Nyarna (Lake Stretch), 2007

In 2007 Jane travelled to the Country where her mother and older sisters had grown up. Eubena and Jane painted this canvas together at Kilykily (Well 36). It represents the rock holes and soaks connected to Jarntu.

Location depicted: Kinyu / Jarntu (Well 35)
Place of creation: Well 36
Latitude/Longitude: -22.13954/125.28315

Artwork copyright: ©2013 Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin, Wuntupayi Jane Gimme
Catalogue ID: EN/JG/47/WA
Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on use

Photographer: Jason McCarthy
Photograph date: 2009-06-18
Photography copyright: National Museum of Australia
Format: Image
Category: Artwork

Artist(s) biography:
Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin
born about 1920, died 2013
Manyjilyjarra, Kukatja, Wangkajunga, Putijarra language groups
Nampitjin skin group
Balgo community
Warlayirti Artists
Eubena grew up around Jarntu and Nyirla. With her first husband, Gimme, she travelled north along the Canning Stock Route with the drovers. While raising their six daughters at Balgo mission, Eubena helped Gimme and a local priest compile a Kukatja-language dictionary. Eubena began a famous painting partnership with her second husband, Wimmitji Tjapangarti, and her paintings have inspired the work of many other members of her extended desert family.

Wuntupayi Jane Gimme 
born 1958
Kukatja language group
Nungurrayi skin group
Balgo community
Warlayirti Artists
Born at Tjumuntura, near the old Balgo mission, Jane is the eldest of Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin’s surviving daughters. Jane learned from her mother the stories of her Country and the ways of painting it. She is an active artist in her own right and more than once has been elected chairperson of Warlayirti Artists. 

Accession ID: 20131011_FORM_MIRA_B0044_0041

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.

Untitled (Eubena Nampitjin)

Untitled' - Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin and Wuntupayi Jane Gimme. Catalogue Reference: EN/JG/21/WA. Canning Stock Route bush trip 1- 4 August 2007.

Date created: 8/3/2007
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Well 36, Kilykily
Latitude/Longitude: -22.13954/125.28315

People: Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin, Wuntupayi Jane Gimme
Art Centre(s): Warlayirti Artists

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: 6 Canning Stock Route bush trip 1-4 August 07
Accession ID: 20131213_B0005_0075

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.

Untitled (Eubena Nampitjin and Wuntapayi Jane Gimme)

Untitled' - Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin and Wuntupayi Jane Gimme. Catalogue Reference: EN/JG/24/WA. Canning Stock Route bush trip 1- 4 August 2007.

Date created: 8/3/2007
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Well 36, Kilykily
Latitude/Longitude: -22.13954/125.28315

People: Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin, Wuntupayi Jane Gimme
Art Centre(s): Warlayirti Artists

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: 6 Canning Stock Route bush trip 1-4 August 07
Accession ID: 20131213_B0005_0078

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.

Untitled (Eubena Nampitjin and Wuntapayi Jane Gimme)

Untitled' - Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin and Wuntupayi Jane Gimme. Catalogue Reference: EN/JG/25/WA. Canning Stock Route bush trip 1- 4 August 2007.

Date created: 8/3/2007
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Well 36, Kilykily
Latitude/Longitude: -22.13954/125.28315

People: Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin, Wuntupayi Jane Gimme
Art Centre(s): Warlayirti Artists

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: 6 Canning Stock Route bush trip 1-4 August 07
Accession ID: 20131213_B0005_0079

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.

Untitled (Eubena Nampitjin and Wuntapayi Jane Gimme)

Untitled' - Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin and Wuntupayi Jane Gimme. Catalogue Reference: EN/JG/25/WA. Canning Stock Route bush trip 1- 4 August 2007.

Date created: 8/3/2007
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Well 36, Kilykily
Latitude/Longitude: -22.13954/125.28315

People: Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin, Wuntupayi Jane Gimme
Art Centre(s): Warlayirti Artists

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: 6 Canning Stock Route bush trip 1-4 August 07
Accession ID: 20131213_B0005_0080

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.

Lake Disappointment

Lake Disappointment' - Clifford Brooks and Jeffrey James. Catalogue Reference: JJ/CB/16/JOINT. Canning Stock Route bush trip 1- 4 August 2007.

Date created: 8/3/2007
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Well 36, Kilykily
Latitude/Longitude: -22.13954/125.28315

People: Clifford Brooks and Jeffrey James
Art Centre(s): Tjukurba Gallery, Birriliburu Artists, Martumili Artists

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: 6 Canning Stock Route bush trip 1-4 August 07
Accession ID: 20131213_B0005_0070

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.

Video Title: Not just painting

Video Description: Emerging Filmmaker KJ Martin, travelling on one of the Canning Stock Route Project bush painting camps, observes how his opinion of painting has changed through the experience: “it’s not just killing time... they are telling their stories.”

Date created: 2007
People: Tim Acker, Patrick Olodoodi (Alatuti) Tjungurrayi, Helicopter Joey Tjungurrayi, Putuparri Tom Lawford, Kuji Rosie Goodjie, Morika Biljabu, Jakayu Biljabu, Joe Duncan, Clifford Brooks
Art Centre(s): Birriliburu Artists, CSR Project

Director: KJ Kenneth Martin
Editor: Cam McGrath
Camera: Paul Elliott, Cam McGrath
Sound: Music By Clifford Brooks
Executive Producer: FORM

Rights: © KJ Kenneth Martin
Clip length: 0:04:43
Protocols: PUBLIC ACCESS
Format: Video
Category: Video
Accession ID: 20131014_FORM_MIRA_B0055_0002

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.

Kunkun

Artist(s): Nyangapa Nora Nangapa, Nora Wompi, Bugai Whylouter, Kumpaya Girgaba

Date created: 2008
Art Centre(s): Martumili Artists
Size: 124.5x294
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
Format: Image
Category: Artwork

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.

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