Title: Nagatijirri Jukurrpa (Budgerigar Dreaming)
Wendy Napalijarri Kitson - Nagatijirri Jukurrpa (Budgerigar Dreaming) - 772/20
Artist: Wendy Napalijarri Kitson
Cat No: 772/20
Size: 30 x 30 cm
Acrylic on Canvas, Stretched
The Jukurrpa site shown in this painting for Ngatijirri (budgerigar [Melopsittacus undulates]) is at Yangarnmpi, south of Yuendumu. ‘Ngatijirri’ are small, bright green birds native to central Australia which are common around the Yuendumu area, especially after the summer rains. Men would hunt for ‘ngatijirri’ nests, robbing them of eggs and juvenile birds, which are both considered delicacies. The men would also go out hunting for adult, flying ‘ngatijirri’, which they would kill by swinging branches, killing sticks or ‘karli’ (boomerangs) to hit the birds in flight. The ‘ngatijirri’ travelled to Yangarnmpi from Patirlirri, near Willowra to the east of Yuendumu and travelled further on to Marngangi, north/west of Mount Dennison and west of Yuendumu. Each time the flock of ancestral ‘ngatijirri’ lands, they perform ceremonies, singing and dancing as they fly and roost in the trees. The sites of these ceremonies are depicted in this painting as concentric circles, while cross-like shapes depict the footprints of the birds on the ground and give an indication of the large flocks of ‘ngatijirri’ that can be found near Yangarnmpi and other sites close to Yuendumu. After good rains ‘ngatijirri’ can successfully breed several times, resulting in an explosion of the population in a short time. Custodians for the Ngatijirri Jukurrpa are Napaljarri/Nungarrayi women and Japaljarri/Jungarrayi men.
Wendy Napaljarri Kitson was born in Willowra, a small remote Aboriginal community located 220 km north-west of Alice Springs and 200 km north-east of Yuendumu. Her grandmother is Dora Napaljarri Kitson, an established artist, who brought Wendy up in Willowra. Wendy attended the local school and when she finished school she did odd jobs in the community. It wasn’t until later, after her family had moved to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km north west of Alice Springs that she met her partner. As well as living in Yuendumu she has lived in Tennant Creek where she often paints and sells her artwork.
She began painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre, in 2011. She paints her father’s Ngatijirri Jukurrpa, (Budgerigar Dreaming), stories that have been passed down to her from her father and his father’s father for millennia. She uses traditional shapes and an unrestricted palette to develop a modern interpretation of her traditional culture.
When Wendy is not painting, she likes to go out hunting with family (she has six kids) and friends to hunt for goanna and bush food. She also enjoys cooking at home.