Title: Lappi Lappi Jukurrpa (Lappi Lappi Dreaming)
Magda Nakamarra Curtis - Lappi Lappi Jukurrpa (Lappi Lappi Dreaming) - 1947/18
Artist: Magda Nakamarra Curtis
Cat No: 1947/18
Size: 30 x 30cm
Acrylic on Canvas, Stretched
The subject of this work is Lappi Lappi, a rock hole near Lake Hazlett, about 90 km northwest of Lake Mackay in Western Australia. The country belongs to Nampijinpa/Jampijinpa and Nangala/Jangala skin groups. Located in a sheltered basin, the rock hole at Lappi Lappi is a permanent source of water, and is surrounded by country rich in bush tucker. In the time of the Jukurrpa (Dreamtime) many mothers with young children would gather there because it was a safe place to stay. The rock hole at Lappi Lappi is home to a ‘warnayarra’, a rainbow serpent that travels underground between various rock holes. One day, women were gathered at the rock hole with their children, singing and dancing. When the ‘warnayarra’ heard the sound of voices, it travelled silently towards them, under the water. When it reached the edge of the rock hole, it rose out of the water and ate them all.
Magda Nakamarra Curtis was born in Alice Springs Hospital, and spent most of her childhood at Nyirripi, a remote Aboriginal community located 450 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. She attended her local school, then Yirara College, an Aboriginal boarding college in Alice Springs. Magda continued her studies at Bachelor College before travelling around the Kimberleys in WA. On her travels she stayed at Balgo, where she first started painting when she was 19 years old. Magda is married to Paul Nelson and now lives in Nyirripi.
When Magda returned home to her family she began painting with the Warlukurlangu Artists in 2004. Her mother Kelly Napanangka Michaels, who lives in Yuendumu and her Aunty Alice Nampijinpa Henwood Michaels, who lives in Nyirripi also paint with Warlukurlangu Artists and have been painting there since 1987 and 1989 respectively. Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation is an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu.
As a child living in Nyirripi, Magda would often watch her grandmothers and grandfathers paint and listen to them as they told her stories of their country. Her Grandparents have passed away since but her Big Sister Mary Anne Nampijinpa Michaels is like a Grandmother to her. She likes painting her Bib Sister’s dreaming, Lappi Lappi Jukurrpa, a rock hole in country belonging to her grandmother. Besides painting Lappi Lappi Jukurrpa, Magda paints her Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) Jajiidi Jukurrpa (Western Quoll Dreaming) and Wardapi Jukurrpa (Goanna Dreaming), Dreamings which relate directly to her land, its features and animals.
When not painting Magda loves spending time hunting for goannas and traditional bush foods in the countryside around Nyirripi and Yuendumu.