Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation is a community owned and run organisation representing artists from the remote desert Warlpiri communities of Yuendumu, Nyirripi and Yuelumu, which are located in the centre of Australia, 290km northwest of Alice Springs. Warlukurlangu’s aim is to share and promote Warlpiri culture, to promote greater understanding of Aboriginal culture and to support local community projects such as the Yuendumu Community Swimming Pool, the Kurdu Kurdukurlangu Childcare Centre and a scholarship fund supporting Aboriginal students studying medical and health related degrees at the University of New South Wales.
[Information used with kind permission of the Warlukurlangu Aboriginal Artists Corporation. Copyright of all artwork and text remains with the artists and Aboriginal traditional owners and is administered on their behalf by Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation.]
Lorraine Napangardi Wheeler’s painting is of the Lukarrara Jukurrpa, which Jukurrpa belongs to women of the Nakamarra/Napurrurla subsections and to Jakamarra/Jupurrurla men. This Dreaming is associated with a place called Jaralypari , north of Yuendumu. Lukarrara (desert fringe-rush) is a grass with an edible seed. The seeds are traditionally ground on a large stone (‘ngatinyanu’) with a smaller stone (‘ngalikirri’) to make flour . This flour is mixed with water (‘ngapa’) to make damper cakes which are cooked and eaten. In Warlpiri traditional paintings iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, particular sites and other elements . Large concentric circles often represent the site of Jaralypari and also the seed bearinggrass Lukurrara . ‘U’ shapes can depict the Karnta (women) collecting ‘lukarrara ‘ and straight lines are frequently used to portray seeds that fall down to the ground and are also collected by women using their ‘parrajas’ (wooden food carriers) and ‘karlangu ‘ (digging sticks).
There is currently no biographical information available for Lorraine Napangardi Wheeler.
Walter Jangala Brown was born in 1977 in Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. He comes from a long line of artists including Pintupi artist Ronnie Jampijinpa, a highly acclaimed painter and founder of the Papunya Tula Artists group. Walter went to Yirara College, an Aboriginal boarding college in Alice Springs. When he finished school, he worked for the Shire for 2 or 3 years. He now lives in Nyirripi and is married to Valerie. They have three children. He began painting for Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu in 2007. He paints his father’s Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming); Warna Jukurrpa (Snake Dreaming); and Yumari Jukurrpa (a collection of rocks located to the west of Kintore in the Gibson Desert). He also paints his grandfather’s Tingari Cycle. These dreamings relate directly to his land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it.
When Walter is not working or painting he plays football and goes hunting.
Ruth Nungarrayi Spencer was born in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 kms north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. She has grown up most of her life in Yuendumu. First attending the local school in Yuendumu then moving to Alice Springs where she attended Alice Springs High School. Further studies gave her qualifications to work in administrative work. Ruth has held a number of administrative positions since leaving school. For 13 years she worked with the Community Development Employment Project (CDEP) in Lajamanu before transferring to the Yuendumu Administration Office. She has also worked for Warlpiri Media, CDEP Council, and the Yuendumu Library and is presently working for the Shire Council. She is now married to Raymond Robert Pluto and they have one young son, Korie. Ruth has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, since she was a teenager. Her grandfather and grandmother told her the stories of her Jukurrpa (Dreaming) but it was Daisy Napanangka Nelson (1930 – 2001) who also painted with Warlukurlangu Artists, Ruth’s Number two Grandmother or Big Sister (Wendy and Alma Sims) who taught her Yanjirlpirri Jukurpa (Star Dreaming) painting. Ruth often travels and visits family in Lajamanu, Balgo, and Kalkaringi. Aside from painting, Ruth enjoys playing basketball and softball.
Ruth Nungarrayi Spencer, Wardapi Jukurrpa (Goanna Dreaming) – Yarripurlangu (46 x 30 cm) POA
Lola Nampijinpa Brown Lola Nampijinpa Brown was born in Ti-Tree, NT, a small community 193 kms north of Alice Springs. When she was a little girl her mother and father took her to Willowra where she grew up. She went to school there and then to Alice Springs where she attended high school before moving to Mount Allen where she married her promised husband. She was married for 25 years. While living in Mount Allen Lola was an active member of the Museum. She made music sticks and necklaces, and painted coolamons and beads. Lola has 7 children and 11 grandchildren. Her three sons still live in Mount Allen and her daughters live in Willowra, Tennant Creek and Mount Allen. She likes to visit her children whenever she can. In 1994 Lola returned to Willowra for a short time before returning in 1997 to Mount Allen to live with her children. At Mount Allen she began painting but as there is no longer a Museum and Art centre in Mount Allen, she was dependent on the availability of materials. In 2002 Lola moved to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 kms north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia, to paint with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre. It was here in Yuendumu that she also met and married her present husband, Christopher Japangardi Poulson, who also paints with Warlukurlangu Artists. Lola has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists since 2002. Lola attends the Art Centre every week day where she paints her Water Dreaming stories, stories which relate directly to her land, its features and animals. These stories were passed down by her grandmother, mother and aunty and their parents before them for millennia.
My dreaming, My Grandmother, Mother and Aunty at Willowra, they taught me to paint my dreaming.
Lola Nampijinpa Brown, Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) – Mikanji (76 x 46 cm) POA
Nathania Nangala Granites was born in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. She was born into a family of artists. Her mother is Valda Napangardi Granites and her grandmother is Alma Nungarrayi Granites, an established artist who has exhibited in Australia and overseas. Nathania grew up listening to her mother’s and her father’s Jukurrpa stories and watching her family paint. She went to the local school in Yuendumu. When she finished school she assisted Yasmin Napurrular Musharbash, taking photos for Yasmin’s study of everyday life in an Aboriginal camp. Nathania is married and has a little boy born in 2013.
Nathania has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, since 2011. She paints her father’s Jukurrpa, particularly Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) and her mother’s Jukurrpa, Yankirri Jukurrpa (Emu Dreaming. These stories have been passed down over the generations for millennia and relate directly to the land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. Nathania uses an unrestricted palette to depict a modern interpretation of her traditional culture.
When Nathania is not working she is taking care of her baby son.
She is also Nampijinpa. She has got two skin-names.
Jamie Lee Nampijinpa Brown’s painting depicts Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) – Mikanji . The country associated with this ‘ngapa Jukurrpa’ (water Dreaming) is Mikanji, a watercourse west of Yuendumu that is usually dry . There are ‘mulju’ (soakages) in this creek bed. The ‘kirda’ (owners) of this Dreaming site are Nangala/Nampijinpa women and Jangala/Jampijinpa men. Mikanji is an important water Dreaming site, and features in at least three different water Dreaming tracks.
There is currently no biographical information available for Jamie Lee Nampijinpa Brown.