Title: Yarla Jukurrpa (Bush Potato Dreaming) - Cockatoo Creek
Erica Napurrurla Ross - Yarla Jukurrpa (Bush Potato Dreaming) - Cockatoo Creek - 5444/19
Artist: Erica Napurrurla Ross
Cat No: 5444/19
Size: 30 x 30 cm
Acrylic on Canvas, Stretched
This Yarla Jukurrpa belongs to men of the Japaljarri/Jungarrayi subsections and to Napaljarri/Nungarrayi women. It comes from an area to the east of Yuendumu called Cockatoo Creek. ‘Yarla’ (bush potato [Ipomea costata]) are fibrous tubers that grow beneath a low spreading plant, found by looking for cracks in the ground. This edible tuber grows from ‘yartura’ (roots) which seek out moisture to spout new plants. Yarla are good to eat, when cooked they are really soft and tasty. The Jukurrpa tells of ‘yarla’ and ‘wapirti’ (bush carrot [Vigna lanceolata]) ancestors fighting a big battle in this area. The specific site associated with this painting is a ‘mulju’ (water soakage) called Ngarparapunyu. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, associated sites and other elements. The curved lines of the ‘kuruwarri’ (ceremonial designs) represent the ‘ngamarna’ (vine-like tendrils) from which grow ‘jinjirla’ (flowers). ‘Karlangu’ (digging sticks) are usually represented as straight lines. ‘Karlangu’are used by women to dig for bush tucker like Yarla and Wapirti which are found underground.
Erica Napurrurla Ross lives in Yuendumu, an Aboriginal community located 290 kms north-west of Alice Springs. She was born and raised there attending the local school. She then went to school in Alice Springs at Yirara College, an Aboriginal boarding college. Since finishing high school Erica has done a series of further education studies through Batchelor College in Alice Springs and Darwin. Her studies include Business and Language.
Erica’s first job was as a literacy worker doing translations and interpreting at Yuendumu School. After a couple of years she begun working at Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre, where she stretched canvases, gave out paint to artists and helped with general administration work. While she was working at the art centre she started doing her own paintings, depicting Dreamings passed down to her by her father and mother.
She is currently studying at the Batchelor Institute in Alice Springs where she is about to complete a Diploma in Interpreting. While studying she initially worked with the Yuendumu Old People’s Program and up until recently she has been working as a receptionist for the Central Desert Shire (Yuendumu Council).
Erica has two children and is a grandma and when she’s not working or painting she spends a lot of time helping to care for her grand-kids.