Womens' Dreaming at Janyinki bears artist name on the reverse synthetic polymer paint on linen 145 x 93cm
PROVENANCE: Painted at Yuendumu in 1989 Ebes Collection, Melbourne
LITERATURE: Hank Ebes (ed.), Down Under: Danny Matthys, Australian Aboriginal Artists, Belgium: Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens Deurle, 1993, p.33 (illus.)., p.43 Hank Ebes (ed.), Nangara: the australian aboriginal art exhibition from the Ebes collection, Melbourne: The Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings, 1996, vol 1, p.48, cat. no.72; vol 2, cat. no.72 (illus.). Hank Ebes (ed.), The Australian Aboriginal Art Exhibition, Japan: The Yomiuri Shimbun, 2001, p.42, p.43 (illus.)., p.112
EXHIBITED: Down Under: Danny Matthys, Australian Aboriginal Artists, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens Deurle, Belgium, 1993 Nangara: the australian aboriginal art exhibition from the Ebes collection, Stichting Sint-jan, Brugge, Belgium, March 9 - June 23, 1996, cat. no.72 The Australian Aboriginal Art Exhibition, Hokkaido Asahikawa Museum of Art, Asahikawa, Japan, April 13 May 27, 2001; Tochigi Prefectual Museum of Fine Arts, Utsunomiya, Japan, July 15 September 2, 2001; Iwaki City Art Museum, Iwaki, Japan, November 10 - December 16, 2001, cat. no.30 Dreamtime - Aboriginal Art from the Ebes Collection, Arken Museum of Modern Art, Ishoj, Copenhagen, Denmark, February 11 - August 13, 2006
Maggie Napangardi Watson began painting regularly in 1985 and was one of the senior Warlpiri women at Yuendumu who encouraged the translation of women's ceremonial designs onto canvas. This complex early work is named after her ancestral lands and is associated with Karnta-Karlangu, the Digging Sticks Women's Dreaming. Its traditional palette on a black ground is subdued and the dots are distinct and precise in contrast to the later, more vibrant works where the artist often used a 'dragging' technique with the brush to merge the dots together.
This work depicts the journey of the Napangardi and Napanangka women who are custodians of the Dreaming that created Janyinki, a significant site of Yuendumu. Maggie depicts the beginning of the journey at Mina Mina where the Digging Sticks emerged from the ground and then takes us east, beyond Warlpiri country, where the women with these important implements created Janyinki and other sites, while they gathered food (ngalyipi - snake vine) and performed their ceremonies.