Title: Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming)
Jillian Nampijinpa Brown - Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) - 3180/20
Artist: Jillian Nampijinpa Brown
Cat No: 3180/20
Size: 61 x 30 cm
Acrylic on Canvas, Stretched
The country associated with this Ngapa Jukurrpa (water Dreaming) is Mikanji, a watercourse that is usually dry, west of Yuendumu. In this creek bed there are ‘mulju’ (soakages). The custodians of this Jukurrpa are men of the Jangala/Jampijinpa skin groups, and women of the Nangala/Nampijinpa skin groups.
The Dreaming travelled from Puyurru, northwest of Yuendumu to a ‘mulju’ in the Mikanji creek. By the side of the soakages two old blind women of the Nampijinpa skin group were sitting. A rain ancestor travelled to Mikanji from Puyurru and unleashed a huge storm. As the two women strained their eyes to see the sky, tears formed in their eyes, creating the rain. Their spirits can still be seen at Mikanji in the form of two ‘ngapiri’ (river red gums) growing near the soakage. Motifs frequently used to depict this story include concentric circles representing ‘mulju’ (water soakages) and short bars depicting ‘mangkurdu’ (cumulus & stratocumulus clouds).
Jillian Nampijinpa Brown was born in 1975 in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. She spent her childhood in Yuendumu, attending school at both Yuendumu and Yirara College, an Aboriginal boarding college in Alice Springs.
For a long time, Jillian worked at the Yuendumu Child Care Centre, but she now paints full time and takes care of her children and her family’s children. Jillian has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation since 1999. She paints her father’s Jukurrpa, Dreamings that relate to her land, its features and animals. These stories were passed down to her by father, who received them from his parents.
Jillian uses an unlimited palette and traditional iconography, at the same time developing a contemporary individualistic style to depict her traditional Jukurrpa.