Aboriginal Artists - Karen Napaljarri Barnes
Yankirri Jukurrpa (Emu Dreaming) – Ngarlikurlangu
Catalog Number: 64/15
This particular site of the Yankirri Jukurrpa, (emu Dreaming [Dromaius novaehollandiae]) is at Ngarlikurlangu, north of Yuendumu. The ‘yankirri’ travelled to the rockhole at Ngarlikurlangu to find water. This Jukurrpa story belongs to Jangala/Jampijinpa men and Nangala/Nampijinpa women. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, associated sites and other elements. Emus are usually represented by their ‘wirliya’ (footprints), arrow-like shapes that show them walking around Ngarlikurlangu eating ‘yakajirri’ (bush raisin [Solanum centrale]). In the time of the Jukurrpa there was a fight at Ngarlikiurlangu between a ‘yankirri’ ancestor and Wardilyka (Australian bustard [Ardeotis australis]) ancestors over sharing the ‘yakajirri’. There is also a dance for this Jukurrpa that is performed during initiation ceremonies.
Karen Napaljarri Barnes was born in Lajamanu, a remote Aboriginal community in semi-arid country on the edge of the Tanami Desert 1000km north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. She moved to Yuendumu, 700km south, after finishing school in Lajamanu, to be with her family. She has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed Art Centre, since 2001. She is the grand-daughter of Warlukurlangus’s famous artist Judy Napangardi Watson and they would sit together painting at the Art Centre every day when Karen first started painting. Karen paints the dreaming stories handed down to her by her family for generations of millenia, stories which come from Mina Mina, country west of Yuendumu of which her family are the custodians. She also paints Karnta Jukurrpa (Women’s Dreaming), Wakulyarri Jukurrpa (Wallaby Dreaming), Ngarlajiyi Jukurrpa (Bush Carrot Creaming). Karen loves sport, especially basketball and softball, and is an avid football spectator, barracking for Lajamanu.
Artwork is accompanied by Warlukurlangu Artists (Yuendumu) Art Centre Certificate of Authenticity/Provenance.