Yunkurra Billy Atkins, Wokka Taylor and Muuki Taylor were born and raised at Kulyakartu, Kuljali and Kumpupirntily in the East Pilbara region of WA. Yunkurra is the caretaker and custodian of Kumpupirntily while Muuki and Wokka are the protectors of Kulyakartu. This inherited duty is an enormous responsibility as the areas hold immense cultural importance. Last year, during the height of the pandemic, they revisited their country and painted a series of works invigorating their cultural connection. This is their story.
Paul Johnstone Gallery, Darwin WA
8 May – 28 May 2021
“This one here is just like when you got a lot of stress and worries. Make your mind think of a lot of things. In this painting I put not bad colours, good colours to help fight those things in your mind. These two (points to white circles bottom right) maparn wantis (spiritual, magic ladies) they landed at Wantili they would put out a sort of radar so the Seven Sisters would know where to go. They spiritual ladies, like GPS they help find your way. This one (points to top right) is Seven Sisters. Over there (top left) Southern Cross, maparn girls, medicine girls. Here (bottom left) is the ngurra (home, country, camp) for wantis. When they dance around the ngurra, smooth it all out. All these create the minerals, the gold. The dotting colour Martu use these for lore.”
The activity of painting creates a safe space and gives opportunity for artists to gather and connect to each other, culture and Country. Through the practice of painting artists can recognise the value of their culture and take pride in what it represents creating happiness within, pukurlpa. This exhibition is a celebration of the practice of making art to feel happy inside.
Martumili Gallery, Newman WA
27 April – 27 June 2021