Life and art in the sky, Part 1 – the Napaljarri-warnu Jukurrpa of Alma Nungarrayi Granites

Aboriginal Art Directory | 05.09.09

This small image gives but a very limited impression of the power and majesty of the original of Alma Nungarrayi Granites’ painting of her Napaljarri-warnu Jukurrpa (Seven Sisters dreaming).

It is one of a series of large paintings by the Warlpiri artist Alma Nungarrayi Granites, who paints for Warlukurlangu Artists, the locally-owned and operated arts centre here at Yuendumu 300 kilometres or so north-west of Alice Springs in Warlpiri/Anmatyerre country on the southern fringes of the magnificent Tanami Desert.

Nungarrayi comes from a long and proud tradition of Warlpiri artists.

Her father and mother, Paddy Japaljarri Sims and Bessie Nakamarra Sims, are two of the artists that founded Warlukurlangu in the mid-eighties. Artistic talent in the Sims family runs deep and spans the generations – Nungarrayi’s parents Japaljarri and Nakamarra, as well as Nungarrayi and her brothers and sisters all paint with and sell through Warlukurlangu.

Earlier this year Nungarrayi and her daughter Sabrina joined her mother and grandmother in a unique show, entitled “Mother, daughter, granddaughter; Three generations of Yuendumu artists” at Perth’s Kingfisher Gallery . Brother Otto Sims is the chairman of Warlukurlangu.

The rights to paint and the knowledge linked to the Napaljarri-warnu Jukurrpa story have been handed down to Nungarrayi from her father, the last Japaljarri who knows all of the songs and ceremony for the Yiwarra – Milky Way Dreaming.


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