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CUPPATEA with Pauline Williams

Submitted by author on Fri, 10/15/2021 - 15:53

Pauline Williams, daughter of renowned Martumili artist Jugarda (Dulcie) Gibbs (dec.), is part of the new generation of Martumili Artists. We join her as her career takes off; this year Pauline has exhibited as part of several award and group exhibitions, including 'The Jury Prize', 'Cossack Art Awards' and 'Desert Mob'. She's also one of the artists behind the gorgeous new Shire of East Pilbara's branding.


How do you like your tea?

One sugar, milk, and strong!


When did you start painting? Who taught you?

My mum used to paint and I started doing the painting with her. We painted her Country, and her mother's Country; [permanent springs] Wirnpa and Yimirri, the Jukurrpa (Dreaming) stories for that Country. It's in the Percival Lakes area. I've never been there but I know those places because of painting with my mum. Maybe next year I'll be going. My Dad's Country is all around Kunawarritji rockhole. He was born at Kunawarritji well, [Canning Stock Route] Well 33. Sometimes I paint that area too. Both sides I do painting.

I also used to paint with my two aunties; Rosie [Mantararr (Muntararr)] Williams and [Muni] Rita Simpson, my mother's sisters. They've got one father. They came from one Country. My mum and my auntie's painting, that's the one I'm doing now- but my style is a little bit different. 


What else do you like to paint about?
I paint the Seven Sisters stories for around Kunawarritji. The sisters came from Roebourne, and they was traveling to Northern Territory side. There was a man trying to get the women- Yurla. He was following them. All them womens was scared. They been fly to the sky and you'll see all the seven stars there. You'll see them sometimes early hours of the morning. Sometimes they make a kumpu (urinate) early in the morning, that's why you get wet. [laughs]


What colours do you use to show your country?

Background I like to use reds, for the red dust. I also like to use purple. All sorts of colours! I see those colours in the Country- all the sandhills, jila (snakes), or the Country around Kunawarritji well. That area is green.


What's been your most exciting moment as an artist so far?

I was talking here at Martumili to the [East Pilbara] shire mob, telling them about my painting and about the Seven Sisters story. I also went to Perth for the 'Revealed' exhibition. That was first time I went there, to Perth. I sold my painting there.


How do you feel when someone buys one of your paintings?

I feel proud and happy when someone buys my painting. One of the ministers been buy one of my Seven Sisters one. It hadn't even been catalogued yet! He picked my painting and wanted to buy it straight away.


Tell us about the work you did for the shire rebranding

They chose me and my nephew Corban [Clause] Williams. It feels good to have my paintings there. 


What's your favourite food?

I like bush turkey. Sometimes I go hunting for that one. I go for parnajarrpa (sand goanna) and lunki (witchetty grub) too, and kangaroo tail.


How does painting make you feel?
I love painting. I come in every day. Sometimes I go to my father's Country and I do the painting there too. 

Article Author
Ruth Leigh
Article Publish Date