Our Mother’s Dreaming - Katherine Marshall Nakamarra & Debra Young Nakamarra
Walangkura Napanangka (1946 – 2014) re-created the great Pintupi Tingari stories of her homelands, using the graphic symbols of the Country and the Tingari journey to show what happened there in the Dreaming. These stories were central to Women’s Law from this part of the country. They were celebrated and re- enacted in Women’s Ceremonies involving all the participating women from the area.
Women’s ceremonies are shared and recognised across all generations and Walangkura’s art has featured strongly in the lives of her daughters. Both the ceremonial stories and the expressive story-telling skills of their mother have been dutifully passed on to the daughters.
This exhibition reflects on the painting skills of Walangkura’s daughters Katherine Marshall Nakamarra (b. 1968) and Debra Young Nakamarra (b. 1964). Their narrative comes from the important ritualistic events that occurred at the site at Tjintjintjin, a significant rockhole and cave located around about 70 kms west of the Kintore Community in Western Australia. This site sits on the songline of the Creation Ancestor Kutungka Napanangka, who travelled through this country on her journey to the east, travelling towards Muruntji, south-west of Mount Liebig.
The artists represent the topography of the country, showing the stony hills, the sand dunes, the rockholes and the cave around the ceremonial Women’s site. Different aspects of the story are told in various paintings, with the associated symbols represented in each part of the story. These Tingari Dreaming stories remain in essence a spiritual and highly protected body of knowledge, with only general details being disclosed by the artists. Katherine Marshall Nakamarra and Debra Young Nakamarra continue the tradition of celebrating and paying homage to the great Tingari narrative that underlies their culture and that was so forcefully re-created through their mother’s art during her life-time.