Lorna Brown Napanangka
'Grandfather's Country at Warren Creek' 2005
Gift of Rupert and Annabel Myer in honour of his parents Sarah and Baillieu Myer
© the artist licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency
The golden yellow background in this work is covered in a myriad of sections of design elements common in the visual language of the desert: concentric circles indicating sacred sites and other places; journey lines joining these; and clusters of U-shapes to represent people or ancestors in human form. It is a complex composition that suggests a visual narrative connected to the all-powerful Tingari ancestors and their creative acts in Lorna Brown Napanangka's grandfather's country at Warren Creek, which she is entitled to paint. The shapes represent the creek, rockholes, soakage waters and sandhills in the area. During ancestral times, a large group of women camped at Warren Creek and gathered the edible berries and fruit growing in the vicinity. These included kampurarrpa (desert raisin), ili (desert fig), ipalu (bush banana) and pura (bush tomato). They also dug for ngari (honey ants) and maku (witchetty grubs).
Born in the desert near the Aboriginal settlement of Haasts Bluff, Lorna Brown Napanangka was taken by her mother Annie Ellis and family, including her grandfather Obed Raggett, to Papunya when Napanangka was just a few months old. After two years her family moved back to Haasts Bluff before later moving to Warren Creek outstation near Mount Liebig. In 1971, Obed Raggett was the assistant to the teacher Geoffrey Bardon when the latter encouraged the elder men to paint for the public domain, thus initiating the painting movement at Papunya.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Franchesca Cubillo and Wally Caruana (eds) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art: collection highlights National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2010
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