‘Watiya Juta’ | Mitjili Napurrula | Aboriginal Art Exhibition
A solo exhibition showcasing Aboriginal artworks that portray stories relating to the ancient ritual of the spear straightening ceremony is showing at Mitchell Fine Art.
Mitjili Napurrula, a Pintupi artist from Central Australia paints ‘Watiya Juta’ the Desert Acacia, a source material for Aboriginal spear making and the central motif in her father’s dreaming – the story of the spear straightening ceremony. Her paintings show the iconography of the trees, red sandhills and rocks of her father’s country to the west of Haasts Bluff in Central Australia. Under the tutelage of her mother Napurrula began painting the female side to her father’s dreaming in 1993. Her works ‘Watiya Juta’ portray the topography of her father’s country, Uwalki, and the recurring tree motif, Watiya.
The Spear Straightening ceremony is an important Dreaming story dealing with tribal rivalries and ancient rituals and the process of spears being made for battle.
In Napurrula’s paintings the figurative and topographical elements are applied in bright, vibrant colours on a translucent veil of white. These colours reflect her own style and playful personality.
Napurrula stems from an impressive artistic family. Born at Ikuntji (Haasts Bluff) an area 200kms west of Alice Springs, her mother was one of the principal female artists at Kintore in the Western Desert and her brother was one of the founding members of the Papunya Tula Artists cooperative.
Napurrula’s works are part of numerous international and national collections including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, National Gallery of Australia and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.
On Saturday April 7 at 2:00 pm a floor talk on the life and artistic practice of Mitjili Napurrula will be held in the gallery with Director Mike Mitchell. All events are free. The gallery is open Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
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