Seven Sisters Dreaming

Kungkarangkalpa Tjukurrpa of the Seven Sisters Mititjulu, Priscilla Napurrurla Herbert

Hearth Galleries forthcoming exhibition is opening soon. Napaljarri-Warnu Jukurrpa (Seven Sisters Dreaming) concerns a group of seven ancestral women being pursued by a cunning shape-shifter who disguises himself in countless ways to trick the sisters.

The Seven Sisters also have some tricks of their own, they can fly. These journeys are associated with sacred ceremony, creation of features in the landscape, and ultimately, transformation.

Priscilla Napurrurla Herbert paints the Kungkarangkalpa Tjukurrpa which is from the area around Mititjulu. Athena Nangala Granites paints the Warlpiri stories of the Napaljarri-warnu Jukurrpa. Both women belong to Warlukurlangu Artists in Yuendumu in the Northern Territory.

Through significant works by Athena Nangala Granites and Priscilla Napurrurla Herbert this exhibition explores the power of contemporary Aboriginal art, through the journeys of the Seven Sisters, to challenge our perceptions of time and space, and equally to question our integration with place.

This Jukurrpa tells the story of the seven ancestral Napaljarri sisters who are found in the night sky as a cluster of seven stars known as the Pleiades in European astrology. Their story across the landscape tells of their pursuit by the Jakamarra man who eventually chases them into the sky; they leave the landscape below changed forever by their interactions.

Athena, born in 1994, is the daughter of Geraldine Napangardi Granites and the grand-daughter of Alma Nungarrayi Granites, well-known artists who paint with Warlukurlangu Artists. She is also the great grand-daughter of Paddy Japaljarri Sims (Deceased) one of the founding artists of Warlukurlangu Artists. Athena has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Corporation, since 2010.

Priscilla was born in Alice Springs in 1977 and has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists since 2010. Her country is Tanami Downs, until recently Mongrel Downs Station, located about 700 km north-west of Alice Springs.​

Shanna, born in 1988, has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, since 2002, when she was 14 years of age. Four generations of Shanna’s family actively participate in the activities of the art centre.

The exhibition will highlight a featured artist, Tony Wilson, a Kaurna/Ngarrindjeri/Narrunga artist based in Adelaide.

He creates intricate and evocative artworks that explore themes of identity, collective resonance and connectedness. Heavily influenced by his cultural heritage, interactions with people and environment, Tony’s work propels us to “the space between our thoughts”.

They call us to reconnect to our inner-selves while examining our relationships and the impact our interactions have on each other and our environment.

Self-empowerment is a central theme in Tony’s artistic practice, which is focused on visual arts that extends into local communities. He is passionate about sharing knowledge and connecting with young people through his work as an artist-in-residence in local schools, where he leads youth art mentoring programs. Tony’s artistic work also includes graphic design and photography.

Napaljarri-Warnu Jukurrpa (Seven Sisters Dreaming) will be exhibiting from 1 March to 31 May.

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