Yuendumu - Same Jukurrpa Same Country

Australian Museum

In the old day we painted circle, circle, circle, circle, same way... it was simple. Now we move away from that. But still the same story. Same Jukurrpa, same country.Wendy Nungarrayi Granites

Warlpiri women performing
In 1982, nine Warlpiri artists travelled from the community of Yuendumu, in the Northern Territory’s Tanami Desert, to dance and display their painted wooden objects at the Australian Museum. The Women Artists exhibition was the first art show anywhere devoted to Aboriginal women artists, and the start of successful careers for many Yuendumu painters. Since 1982, Yuendumu artists have held well over 1000 exhibitions, achieving both commercial and critical recognition as some of Australia’s leading visual artists.Recently, the Museum returned to Yuendumu to collect from a new generation of artists. Despite their success, the Jukurrpa (Dreaming) stories of the powerful ancestors who created the landscape and its inhabitants continue to be the central inspiration for Yuendumu painters. What has changed is the capacity of individual artists to find their own kuruwarri (personal style), the distinctive combinations of colour and form thatmark each artist’s practice. As the seven new canvases show, Yuendumu’s artists are still finding new ways to express their traditional stories.

Warlpiri women perform a Ngapa Jukurrpa (water dreaming) at the opening of the Women Artists exhibition at the Australian Museum in 1982.

Warlpiri women perform Ngapa Jukurrpa
Various Walpiri artists - Women’s dance boards 1982
Yukurrukurru (painted dance boards) are carried by women dancers during ceremonial performances and their designs reference Jukurrpa (Dreaming) stories. These dance boards were made for display at the Australian Museum in 1982 and represent some of the earliest art made specifically for a wider audience by the Yuendumu community.
Australian Museum
Credits: Story

Judy Napangardi Watson
Alma Nungarrayi Granites
Liddy Napanangka Walker
Maggie Napaljarri Ross
Otto Jungarrayi Sims
Shorty Jangala Robertson
Sabrina Nangala Robertson

All paintings acquired with funding from the Patricia M Poritt bequest and the Australian Museum Foundation.

We would also like to acknowledge project partners Warlukurlangu Arts Centre and PAW Media, Yuendemu.

Exhibition on show at the Australian Museum from 14 December 2014 to February 2015 http://australianmuseum.net.au/event/same-jukurrpa-same-country

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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