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Alma Nungarrayi Granites

Alma Nungarrayi Granites Paintings

Alma Granites - Yuendumu Artist, Paints Night Sky and Star Dreaming Stories - Seven Sisters Dreaming

Alma Nungarrayi Granites

As the world’s oldest continuous living culture, Aboriginal people can claim to be the world’s first astronomers. For them, gazing at the stars is about more than making out and naming constellations. Alma Nungurrayi Granites paints the great Warlpiri story of the Seven Sisters Dreaming, telling the narrative of the ancestral Napaljarri sisters.

The Napaljarra sisters are found in the night sky in the star cluster known as the Pleiades, in the constellation Taurus. The Pleiades are seven women often depicted in paintings of this Jukurrpa carrying the Jampijinpa man Wardilyka, who is in love with the Napaljarri-warnu and who is represented in the Orion’s Belt cluster of stars.

Alma Nungarrayi Granites began painting in 1987, but it was in 2007 that she made the decision to become a dedicated and accomplished artist. Her concern was about the preservation of the Jukurrpa, the designs and stories being passed onto her from her mother and her father. Alma explored her own ways of representing the ancient Jukurrpa by using innovating painting methods and designs while keeping to the traditional aspects of symbols and meaning.

To do this Alma studied the Seven Sisters Dreaming in depth through her father, famous artist Paddy Japaljarri Sims. She made journeys to the significant sites, which forged in her stronger links to the land where the stories takes place. Sites like the large round rocks of Yanjirlpirri country create a powerful landscape where the sky and land blend together in the hours leading up to sunset.

When considering the role of the stars in Aboriginal culture, Ray Norris astronomer and adjunct professor in the department of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University Sydney says “There is a lot of astronomy used in the Australian Aboriginal culture and it goes way beyond naming constellations and telling stories. The Aboriginals were quite sophisticated, they used the stars to determine how the tides work, how planets move, where to find food.”

“We have a site – there may be others – where stones lined up to indicate when the sun sets on midsummer’s day and midwinter’s day – the Aboriginal Stonehenge if you like. The Aboriginal people were nomadic, so they needed to know in advance when it was time to move and they used the stars for this.”

Perth astro-photographer John Goldsmith is also researching Aboriginal astronomical knowledge. “Cultures all over the world, including ancient cultures, used the stars for all sorts of reasons,” he said.  “The star patterns were important for Aboriginal people, they used their stars for things like navigation, time keeping, calendars and searching for food.”

“There is a direct link of knowledge of the night sky with what is happening on the ground.” Mr Goldsmith says there is a strong link between astronomy and history. “The night sky is a really rich source of human history and culture,” he said. “All the cultures around the world have stories and knowledge wrapped up in the stars. The sky is like a global history book for those than can interpret it.” A selection of paintings by Alma Nungarrayi Granites is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

Aboriginal art status – Highly regarded artist.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2007     Warlukurlangu – Aboriginal Art aus Yuendumu, ArtKelch, Freiburg, Germany
2007     Desert Mob, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs NT
2007     Shalom Gamarada Aboriginal Art Exhibition, Shalom College, Sydney, NSW
2008     Artists of Nyirripi and Yuendemu, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle W
2009     Nyirripi and Yuendumu Artists, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2010     Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa  – Star Dreaming, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2011     Alma Nungarrayi Granites – The Night Sky, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2012     Little Gems, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2013     Nyirripi and Yuendumu Artists, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA

Solo Exhibitions

2011     Alma Nungarrayi Granites – The Night Sky, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2012     Alma Nungarrayi Granites – Night Sky, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA

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Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa – Seven Sisters Dreaming by Alma Nungarrayi Granites

Alma Nungarrayi Granites  |  Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa – Seven Sisters Dreaming

Jap 013259  |  acrylic on linen  |  152 x 61 cm

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Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa – Seven Sisters Dreaming by Alma Nungarrayi Granites

Alma Nungarrayi Granites  |  Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa – Seven Sisters Dreaming

Jap 013256  |  acrylic on linen  |  300 x 200 cm

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Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa – Seven Sisters Dreaming by Alma Nungarrayi Granites

Alma Nungarrayi Granites  |  Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa – Seven Sisters Dreaming

Jap 013263  |  acrylic on linen  |  107 x 76 cm

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Seven Sisters Dreaming by Alma Nungarrayi Granites

Alma Nungarrayi Granites  |  Seven Sisters Dreaming

Jap 013830  |  acrylic on linen  |  30 x 30 cm

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Seven Sisters Dreaming by Alma Nungarrayi Granites

Alma Nungarrayi Granites  |  Seven Sisters Dreaming

Jap 013740  |  acrylic on linen  |  91 x 91 cm

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Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa – Seven Sisters Dreaming by Alma Nungarrayi Granites

Alma Nungarrayi Granites  |  Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa – Seven Sisters Dreaming

Jap 013257  |  acrylic on linen  |  152 x 76 cm

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