Title: Women’s Ceremony
Artist: Ningura Napurrula (deceased)
Size: 90 x 60 cm Unframed
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
COA and pictures of Ningura holding and signing her work will be provided.
Napurrula depicts the mythological events of her ancestors who travelled the vast country, creating sacred sites on her journey and the mythological significance of bush tucker collected along the way, establishing customs and ceremonies. Features of the landscape and women’s interactions with it are explained and honoured. The old woman Kutunga Napanangka passed through this country as she travelled east before arriving at the permanent site of Muruntji, south west of Mt Liebig. . The ongoing life activities of the women such as gathering bush tucker, giving birth, or the dancing and singing of ceremony, are fused with a living understanding of the environment. A woman is about to give birth at this traditional ‘borning’ site that also features a waterhole (Wirrulnga) and surrounding sand hills. The old midwives wear nyimparra/hair-string skirts/bush belts. Two women are often depicted sitting either side of a nulla nulla that they have used to catch a goanna for everyone’s tucker. Larger circles radiating outwards represent women’s hair twirled and plaited onto the top of the heads in order to carry food and water. Thickly layered acrylic paint emphasizes an earthy substantiality. The visual intensity of the uncomplicated yet detailed line work draws contiguous shapes into a dynamic harmony. One senses the moment as the earth awaits new life.