C. 1932, WANYWURTU, GREAT SANDY DESERT, WA
WANGKATJUNGKA COMMUNITY, WA
WALMAJARRI / JUWALINY
Nyangarni, of the Walmajarri language group, was born at Wanywurtu under a tutujarti (desert walnut) tree. She grew up there with her family of one father, two mothers, one brother and two sisters. There is a rock hole with spring water at Wanywurtu where Nyangarni remembers going walkabout for goanna and pussycat (feral cat).
Nyangarni’s family and other groups migrated north to the cattle station country surrounding the Fitzroy Valley. She was a girl in her early teens when they left the desert. During the journey, she lost her mother’s sister, then her father and mother. Nyangarni became distressed about losing her parents and wanted to keep looking for them. Her brother Kumanjayi Pijaju (deceased) got angry with her, leaving Nyangarni and her little sister at nearby Milidjidee before continuing alone.
Nyangarni paints the traditional waterholes and hunting grounds of the Great Sandy Desert where she and her family lived happily throughout her childhood.
In this playful work, Nyangarni paints the soakage Paynjarra, a site the artist visited with her family as a child. The soakage is depicted by the blue circle in the centre of the painting, the blossoming Yarun (bloodwood trees) and bush tucker abundant in the area radiating outwards from the water source.
Of the artwork, Nyangarni says,
‘This one Paynjarra jumu (soakwater) good country this one, desert country, long way out. Yarun (bloodwood) them trees, This is desert country. We get bush tucker in this country.’