Artwork of the Week: Marrapinti by Naata Nungurrayi 183 x 245cm

Created in 2012 at Alice Springs, NT

About the Artist:

Naata Nungurrayi is a respected senior elder and is recognised as a highly important artist in the Kintore women's artist movement. The Dreamings that Naata paints depict sacred women's sites and women's ceremonies in the Kintore and Kiwirrkurra region.

As an elder and through her lineage, Naata is one of the few women to have permission to paint certain features of these Dreamings. She has developed a distinctive style, quite different to the mens' style of the region.

About Marrapinti:

Marrapinti is a site west of Pollock Hills in Western Australia. Pollock Hills is South of the remote community Kiwirrkurra, located in the Gibson Desert.

For Naata, Marrapinti is her home; she remembers travelling across country as a young girl and and returning again when she was young mother. She has many fond personal memories of this place, as well as its cultural significance for the the Pintupi people. 

Situated in a creek bed lies an important rock hole site. It is here where a group of senior Ancestral Nangala and Napangati women stopped on their journey and collected kampurarrpa (desert raisins). While camped at Marrapinti, the Ancestral women fashioned nose bones (inserted in to a pierced septum), which are also called Marrapinti.

It is considered that the nose bone ancestor lives in the ground at this site and ceremonies for piercing the nose are held here. These nose bones were originally used by both men and women, but are now only inserted by the older generation on ceremonial occasions. Upon completion of the ceremonies at Marrapinti the Ancestral women continued their journey. 

Why we LOVE this Artwork:

Viewers of this artwork are certainly rewarded aesthetically!

The maze of marks in this artwork maps Marrapinti and features in the landscape such as Tali (sand hills). Despite the geometric patterning, the dot work is loose and expressive, meaning there isn't that 'formulaic' feel about it. Rather, it feels like this work was created in equal parts of happiness and colour.  Once Naata's stories of Marrapinti are revealed, the viewer is rewarded culturally as well. A stunning work of art, and a great conversation piece - what more could you ask for.

You can read Naata's biography here and view all of her artworks here

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